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.