Think back over the last year's news-making events. Whether in local, state, national, or world headlines, there is always plenty of disasters, suffering, and need. Does it ever overwhelm you? How in the world can you possibly do enough to make any difference? Where would you even start? Many of us react with a lack of reaction. If I can't do for everyone, then I can't really justify doing for just one.
I happened to catch a portion of one of Pastor Andy Stanley's sermons the other day. He was addressing this very topic. I loved his take on the problem. "Do for one what you can't do for everyone." Rather than being paralyzed, be purposeful about a single situation or individual. Pour into them (or it) what you would like to do for all those situations that tug on your heartstrings.
That quote really sang for me, as it is something within everyone's grasp. I can't impact my state's test scores or right all the wrongs of failing big-city school systems across the nation. However, I can give my utmost to the students in my one classroom. I can't counter all the harsh criticisms of educators and education by so many in the media and in the legislatures. It's certainly within my power to shoot an email to my state or national legislators to let them know what is going right in my school and in my district.
That quote reframes my thoughts and gives me a new sense of empowerment. What can you do for one that you can't do for everyone?