Unfortunately I need to start with an apology; I’ve got you reading this under false pretences. You see, the title I really wanted to use for this post is ‘the power of love’ and that’s (hopefully) what you will actually be reading about – if you decide to stick with it despite the big reveal over the subject matter that is!
You see, the problem with calling this ‘the power of love’ is mainly because I immediately get the early 90’s ballad with same title by Dune reverberating round my head (sorry – you probably do too now. If you don’t – or haven’t heard it – YouTube it. Then you’ll understand). Secondly; I didn’t want anyone thinking I was attempting a romance novel (I won’t inflict that on you – promise!).
Anyway; I digress. Back to the topic!
“The challenge is to live an ordinary life extraordinarily”
Pete Grieg (The Vision and The Vow)
I think we all want to make our mark on the world. That means different things to everyone but I reckon it’s universal that we want to know we matter.
I am very blessed to have lovely friends, awesome housemates and a great (read ‘slightly crazy but very entertaining’) family. I love my job, love to dance and when I find the time I love my social life (I hate that term but its a pretty universal way to get the point across so I’ll deal with it). But sometimes it doesn’t feel enough. Sometimes I get all deep and meaningful and look at my life wondering what (if anything) I’ve actually achieved. To those of you now clamouring to ring my doorbell and convert me to some sort of religion that will bring meaning to my life; I’ve already found Jesus and you’re missing the point. Let me explain.
When I finished my A-levels I moved out and started working. Literally every single one of my friends except one went to university or off travelling. Cue tales of great adventures, stories of discoveries, revelations of new experiences and album upon album of Facebook photos. Pretty exciting stuff. Follow that a couple of years later with friends relocating to exotic destinations, starting real ‘grown up’ jobs (actual careers) with benefits like bonuses and pensions, studying further or continuing their exploration of foreign lands. Then there was me; working the same job, living in the same house and leading the same life as when we left school. Catching up with friends I’d hear about all the changes in their lives and mine would feel pretty ordinary in comparison. You see; while their lives were evolving on a massive scale, mine was (and still is) operating on a much smaller one. They were making their mark on the world in thick black permanent marker and mine felt like a faint pencil line. I felt so…ordinary.
During that time I read ‘The Vision and The Vow’ by Pete Grieg. There are so many quotes I could wax lyrical about from that book (and there’s a high probability I’ll do just that in posts to come) but the one that stuck out to me most was the challenge above ; to live an ordinary life in an extraordinary way.
You see; the way we live our life matters. Whatever we’re doing – and whatever we’re scale we’re doing it on – has the potential to impact the world around us. There are so many stories (and many more untold) of how even one small act by one ordinary person can change a life.
And there’s power in that. We have the power to effect others and the world around us, and, if we choose; just going about our ordinary lives can make an extraordinary difference.
So what does it look like?
Buying Fairtrade means people we’ve never met get a fair wage. Sending a text of appreciation to a colleague could make their day. Saying hello to that homeless person in the street could be the most human interaction they’ve had all week. Mailing a photo to a friend reminds them they’re appreciated. Baking for family or a neighbour shows you care. Signing a petition helps get causes heard in Parliament. Spending quality time with people tells them they are valued. Want more ideas? Check Random Acts of Kindness, Give Mondays or little gestures of appreciation.
The power of love.
What does it look like?