We all want a better, nicer world for ourselves and our families but what are we willing to sacrifice or do about it. We want world peace and to end hunger or to have more services in our schools or communities. Yet, most people around are busy wanting this all from a distance and expecting someone else to make it happen. Of course, they may be willing to sign a petition or donate a bit of money (which will hopefully provide a tax benefit) but they just don’t have time to get involved further. They have ‘important’ careers and busy lives and it isn’t a priority to do service.
These days it seems people only admire those with big titles or big salaries. When I heard someone mention a relative who was starting up a non-profit organization after leaving a high-paying job, the relative was seen as an idiot for wasting his life and education. I mean why would you give up money and prestige to help strangers or contribute to a valuable cause? Those people then become the pariahs in society rather than the heroes. They may only be seen as heroes again once their service or organization is picked up by the media or a rich and famous donor. Which, again shows that we are only impressed by the fame and money rather than the intention. An example is Khan Academy which my kids and many I know have been using to help educate our kids. It is a free website with tutorial videos and quizzes on many subjects like math and science. The founder of this site, Salman Khan, is highly educated and left a good job at a hedge fund to start a non-profit business making tutorial videos from his home. He gave up the big salary to risk doing something that would potentially help people all over the world get an education. His organization has since been recognized and backed by the Gates Foundation and has been noticed by the media and the President. However, would his work have been any less impressive if it did not become this big and famous? His intentions and sacrifice would still be there but people may not admire him so much which is unfortunate.
My point here is that we all hear that we should “be the change that you wish to see in the world”, but there are very few who will step away from their personal gains to do it. Of course, most people aren’t built to do things like Gandhi or even Khan but that does not excuse us from not doing small kindnesses and volunteering in the community. Step out of your own glory to give back to the world that you benefit from. Help the schools, shelters, parks or wherever you can. It will make you realize that the world is bigger than you and your personal gain. We can inspire our kids and future generations. It can only help make the world a better place and make us better people.