“I’m trying to make a difference; I’m not trying to make a dollar.”
Too many people think that the only way to make a difference is to have lots of money that they can throw at a problem, thinking that this will fix the problem, or at least make it go away.
I am one of those people…are you?
How often have you said, “If I ever win the lottery, I’m going to fix (insert your own world problem here).” I tend to say this every time the Mega Millions jackpot exceeds $200 million…because that’s the only time I ever buy a lottery ticket.
Because “you gotta be in it to win it…”
So I buy a lottery ticket about once every three years or so…I spend the days leading up to the drawing telling all of my friends about all of the noble things I am going to do with my winnings, and then I check my ticket the morning after the drawing.
Then I pitch my losing ticket in the garbage and go back to my life…and nothing really changes.
Maybe I become just a fraction more cynical…maybe I become just a fraction less likely to make a difference in the world…because there is something engrained in my psyche that believes I cannot make a difference if I don’t have “enough money.”
My problem is in the scope of my focus. I have this idea that if I do not make some huge difference in the world-a difference that will be a game-changer for a large number of people-then I have not made enough of a difference…so I don’t try.
In other words, it’s all about me….
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever shied away from a situation because you didn’t think that you had the resources or the ability to make a difference? I do it all the time…
And I’m sick of it.
That struggling single mom might be raising a future research scientist who will find a cure for cancer…the abused child on your son’s baseball team might grow up to become a pro athlete with the resources to help other children who are being abused like he was. That drug-addicted high school dropout might find a way out of their lifestyle and start a recovery program for other dropouts.
We have no trouble envisioning what our “million$” will do for nameless, faceless people across the country or around the world…but we have trouble imagining what change might occur if we make a contribution within our own community.
I don’t need to make a dollar (or a million dollars) to make a difference…and neither do you. In a recent blog, Jeff Goins summed it up best: “In a selfish world obsessed with celebrity, we need more generosity. We don’t need more rock stars; we need more servants. It may be the only thing that can save us from ourselves.”
I’m done trying to be a rock star…I want to be a servant.
How can I help?