ANYONE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE by Carey and Trevor McLaughlin
“I believe we are interconnected. I believe peace is the true way for change. I listen. I honor my own inner wisdom. I name my gifts, those which I hold in trusteeship knowing they are my super powers. My different is beautiful. My privileges afford the power to help those who are powerless. When I fall, I rise moving through any doubt I have in my abilities because I have evidence to suggest otherwise. I am self-compassionate. I love fiercely and I refuse to succumb to hate, fury, or acrimony or fury. I believe joy, kindness, and celebration are acts of resistance. I dream of a better world and aspire to join in the march towards its attainment. I blaze with courage and conviction. I am called to action. I am a lightmaker.”
These powerful words are the personal manifesto of Karen Walrond which she shares at the end of her equally powerful book The Lightmaker’s Manifesto. In her book, Walrond helps people find their passion to help change the world.
Nancy Gianni, the founder of GiGi’s Playhouse, was a “lightmaker” long before Walrond wrote this book. She began GiGi’s Playhouse to help her daughter and others with Down syndrome and developmental disabilities. GiGi’s playhouses and message of global acceptance for all are changing the world each and every day. Likewise, the founders and volunteers at our local playhouse in Rochester are “lightmakers” that impact so many in our community. All of these people dreamed of a better world and joined in the march towards its attainment. Thank you.
All of us dream of a better world and of being a “lightmaker” in some way but it can feel overwhelming to try to change the world. However, as Mother Theresa once said: “Never worry about the numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.” Maybe the person nearest you is the one in front of you at the grocery store, or the neighbor needing her driveway shoveled, or maybe the person that most needs help is you. After two years of this pandemic, we are all struggling and if you are the one that needs help, please ask for it. Be a lightmaker for someone else or for yourself.
Can you be like the high school basketball coach who asked his team members to skip their workout and shovel snow for elderly neighbors instead? Or maybe the babysitting mother-in-law who always does the dishes and laundry after her grandkids go to bed? Or the grocery store customer who is patient in the line with the employee in training? Or the struggling parent who finally says no to bringing cookies to the PTA meeting and instead takes care of herself? Everyone has a light inside them and can be a “lightmaker”. It doesn’t take much. Jamie Lawson sings in his song Wasn’t Expecting That:
Oh, isn’t it strange
How a life can be changed
In the flicker of the sweetest smile?
Change a life. Make a difference. Be a “lightmaker.”