It was only one year ago but it feels like so much longer, as though the sands in my hourglass have been slipping through far more quickly than I've given them permission. I remember the night. It was warm out. Mid-summer. 7PM and wall to wall sunshine. Joe and I were taking the boys to Coriander India Grill in Squirrel Hill, one of our favorite restaurants, when this brightly-painted mural on the side of the building stopped me in my tracks. Victor Barboza, the man who owns the restaurant, had it painted some time earlier, but I never saw it before. Make that, I'd never slowed down long enough to catch sight of it.
"Guys, stop," I said to our sons as they pushed and punched each other down the sidewalk towards the restaurant's entrance. "Wait for just a second." They looked at what I was staring at and read the words. I imagine they were unimpressed (in all honesty, how many kids actually appreciate wisdom until they've made enough mistakes to understand?), but they did something curious. As I fished around in my purse to find my phone, they assembled themselves around the words so I could capture everything in one snapshot.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
It really is such a powerful message, when you take the time to slow down and let it sink in. If we're unhappy with where we are in life, we have the power to change it. If we're in a dead-end job, we should find something new that invigorates us. If we're in a relationship that doesn't make us happy or lift us higher, we need to make a split and move on. If we don't like what's happening around us, we can get involved to help make things right. It up to US. WE have the power to seek out our own happiness. The ability to effect change is OURS.
Powerful. But so often forgotten. We look at situations as seemingly insurmountable and become intimidated. We feel stuck. Trapped. And then we start to feel bitter. No more. Be the change you wish to see around you. Start with baby steps. After all. Change almost always begins with one person, one decision, one sacrifice, one dream. Start with today. Start with right now.
You are smart enough. You are talented enough. You are special enough. You are unique enough. So much of what happens in life is up to you! Knowing that, believing in that, subscribing to that... makes you unstoppable. And if being the change you wish to see means changing you, get on it. What seems difficult today will become much easier tomorrow.