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But What Does It LOOK Like?

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“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.” -E.B White.

When the Register published their interview with me a few weeks ago, I included this as one of my favorite quotes.

Since then, a few of my friends have challenged me:  OK, how do you change the world?  Exactly what does it look like?

It does sound rather lofty, doesn't it?  I've always been one who wanted to make a difference.  When I first read Steve Farber's work, it brought it into a little more focus.  Changing the world is not a grandiose scheme (at least it doesn't have to be).

Case in point:  Last month when my mom was in the hospital, I was walking across the skywalk with a new dad who was about to take his daughter home.  I was sharing how much fun it was to have daughters, and he confessed he had been hoping for a son and wasn't quite sure about raising a girl.  My response:  "Are you kidding??  From here on out, you will be known as Prince Daddy.  If you play your cards right, there will always be one female on the planet who thinks you are the coolest, smartest, neatest, funnest, and bestest man out there.  You will be the benchmark by which she judges every other male.  You will melt when she kisses your cheek.  You will learn the backstory and bio of every Disney Princess.  Your heart has been physically removed from your chest and now is her permanent squeaky toy.  You will NEVER know a world without unconditional love."  His entire demeanor changed, as he admitted that nobody else was telling him that.  Now, maybe I changed the world (at least for that one little girl) by telling him that.  Maybe I didn't.  But I tried.  I hope her world will be different and he'll be an amazing father.

Today I visited my uncle probably for the last time.  I talked with his wife and his kids and his grandkids.  I've known him as part of my life for almost 43 years.  Will he be written up in history books?  Nope.  Will there ever be a Ken Burns documentary on him?  Most likely not.  Did he change the world?  You bet he did!  He left a legacy of love, hard work, commitment, loyalty, and fairness that those around him will carry forward.  The world around him changed because of his actions and character.  And he affected other worlds.  And those worlds affected still others.

Changing the world, surprisingly, looks a lot like living your life... day to day... with purpose... with focus... and with love.  And there are days when looking at yourself in the mirror at the end of it all... and smiling... is really the best accomplishment.

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Comments

Lori Howe

One of the most relevant and important reminders of living your life with subtle grace & intentional purpose I've read in awhile. Thanks for starting off my day with a little inspiration.

Pete Jones - Desmoinesisnotboring.com

I learned how to change the world from you during our Leadership Class at Drake. We were tasked with first deciding what 'our world' means. Taking that perspective into the assignment made me truly think about what it is I do on a daily basis and how I can impact my world. Once I was able to determine what my world was I was then able to truly see how I can change it. It was not by creating the cure for cancer, rather it was changing the way I relate to those people around and ensuring I am a more positive person. Much to your point in the above blog. Changing the world is easy, if you put the proper thought and planning into it.

Ms. Admin

Each of us changes the world everyday with every life we touch. Your Dad changed my world by teaching me the alphabet; your mother was and remains a lady of grace and graciousness. During my husband's illness I studied death and dying. I wanted to know what to do so not only he and I, but our children, family and friends would be able to accept the inevitable outcome in a positive manner. A few months after his death I spent time with my dying father on the hospital's onocology floor. I made a difference when I looked at another and saw they'd received the news their spouse's life time was near an end. It became my calling to ask if I could speak to both of them. I had the experience to compassionately explain what I called "A Remarkable Journey." I heard from some of those families later and learned I'd helped them with the painful transitions. Changing the world is the easy part --- changing it for the better takes thought and understanding.

Crysta Wille

When you invest your time with purpose and grace, its return is always a reward. I loved your words to the new father because you spoke them with sincerity about yourself. You, Tim, are a gifted and loving father. You told him how you have enjoyed parenting a girl. What you give of yourself has a very great return. Including the time you put into this blog. You are one of three I list on my own, because I find it to be authentic and it stretches me to think about things differently. Thank you for sharing what life looks like to you.

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