I felt extremely privileged that all of a sudden I was facing such an important conversation, because there are plenty of unimportant conversations in our lives about nothing in particular, just to fill the time or to kill time. Then there are conversations about what we do with our time: what school we choose, what occupation, where we choose to live and work and whom we date and marry, etc. These are important conversations. And then there was this, right in front of me: one of the most significant subjects; and it seemingly came out of nowhere. BAM! It slammed into me like the proverbial ton of bricks.
I knew I needed to rise to the occasion, no matter how many things I still had on my to-do list and on my mind that day or how urgently I may have needed to attend to something else. Perhaps what the teenager said reflected and echoed some of my own sentiments. I knew I needed to be authentic and present, because these are the only ways to be. But I also knew that authenticity is difficult to come by in this world, and many times I myself struggle with being present. So this is what I had to say in response:
“I’ve seen too many close political elections to know that any vote could become the deciding vote. Likewise, what you choose to do during your lifetime can either give hope or take it away. Your voice, which combines everything you think, say, or do, and how you express yourself, is your vote. Your time is your vote. Your life is your vote. You want humanity to be kinder? Then show kindness. You want more love? Then love. You want change? Then be the change. You want peace? Then be just that. There are myriads of ways, big and small, in which you can make the humanity to be what you want and envision it to be, because you are a part of it. You can shape its course with your life. You can change its direction with what you do. You can bring your light where it is dark and show the way. Be the light, the peace, the hope for others. And if you think you cannot accomplish much, be encouraged, because you cast your vote every day. In fact, you do it all the time, even when you’re not aware of it. Look for the opportunities, because they are easy to overlook, but there are so many of them. The opportunities where you can bring your vision and change the world, either the whole world or your immediate world, are countless! You can change the world to be something very different than what it would have been if you had not been a part of it. When you see what this game of life entails and the tremendous power an individual has to change its course, as well as the high stakes of the game, then you will undoubtedly get on the field and engage in the gameplay, because you cannot really be a part of any game from the sidelines.”
I know that more conversations and personal examples would be required of me, but I’m glad I had the chance to have this important conversation. I am also thankful that I could be reminded of what’s really important in life.
What’s important to you? What has been your complaint about the way things are? Perhaps these hold the clue for what you can do, today, now, for the world to be what it can be with you in it. Be the Light! Be the Change!