A long time ago a small tribe found themselves living in oppression. They had their own culture, their own beliefs, and even their own law. Their oppressors ruled from the center of an empire located miles and miles away, but still demanded taxes. The local representative of the oppressors served as judge and arbitrator when necessary, and would quench any uprising by the people – by force if necessary. The people believed themselves to be a good people, even holy. They desired freedom from oppression, almost more than anything. They looked to their sacred writing for a way out and found evidence of a savior. Their writings described a savior that would come and free them from bondage. The people hoped above all hope. The savior came.
The savior spoke of matters of the heart, and the bondage of living a life in opposition to the will of the people’s God. The savior spoke of liberty and the people believed he would free them. But the savior’s liberty was that of a spiritual nature. The people’s liberty was from the oppression they experienced daily at the hands of their oppressor. The people desired change in who had the power from one earthly leader to the another. The savior desired his people to have the power to be free in spite of their daily experience.
Many reading this might recognize the story, but how many will see the same battle happening right now across the nations. Most evident in the current election season in America, we are so focused on who will lead us, that it seems we have forgotten how much power we actually have. For every issue that we’ve deemed overwhelming, we have given the responsibility to our rulers to fix the problem. We have given them the power to define our problems and the best solutions.
But there is a particular aspect of life that cannot be measured, and therefore can not be researched, quantified, or legislated, with any institutional effectiveness. It is the way we relate to one another. Our relationships can affect everything we do. The care with which we approach our relationships is telling. The fuel that energies those relationships (love vs hate, joy vs anger, a need for justification vs a well of generosity), is also telling. The consequences of our relationships, the culture that we create in our families, communities, cities, states, and nations, are telling. The consequences are our feed back loop. We can tell by the culture around us if we actually care, or if our relationships are fueled by fear.
Either we do or we don’t.
Either we are living in the world we want to live in or we are not. There are no two ways about it. There is also no one else whose going to be able to have the impact that we each can have on the relationships we are engaged in. We can look to our right, to our left, in our circles, and in our networks. Who do we relate to? We have the power to affect change simply in how we care for those immediately around us.
No one will have our unique perspective on our corner of the world. Nor will anyone be able to change that corner in the way that we can. So how can this work? Are you sensitive to language and how people use words? Help people understand the power of the words they use. Do you have a desire to provide for those in need? Find out what those you know need, and work with them to supply it. If everyone you know has what they need, get to together and find a group in need to engage with. Do you want to care for the children or the elderly? Go. Find them. Do it. Now. Now is the time to act on the desires of your heart to heal the world. Now is the time to work to make the world the better place that we all know it can be. We don’t have to “save the world.” No single person can. No leader can. We all have a responsibility to heal the relationships we are in to the best of our ability. That is all we can do. It is all we must do.
If we all did that in our own little corners, every little corner of the world would become better. The overflow of love would cascade through people. And next thing you know we would have made the whole world.
But it starts with making your world better.