“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
― Walt Whitman
This week has been an intense week of heightened emotions due to the inauguration of an unpopular US President, many peaceful and not so peaceful protests and marches, flurries of news stories filled with anger, hope, sadness, excitement, etc. etc. It all felt a bit surreal, especially from a hotel room in Mexico City where my husband and I had escaped from our home construction for a few days. Many thoughts went through my head such as, “Is this really happening? What will happen to our world with such divisiveness? What can I do to make a difference? What is the meaning behind all of this? So instead of letting my thoughts take over, I decided to check out what others have written about during similar times. I’d like to share some of these quotes with you. Perhaps they will resonate with you as they did with me. At least, I didn’t feel alone with my thoughts!
“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”
― John Lennon
“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― R. Buckminster Fuller
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.”
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead
“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
― E.B. White
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
As always, I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org about your thoughts of how you can make a difference during these times.