We are, I think, as a people, a community of head shakers.
We like to stand around and shake our heads and cluck our tongues and admonish the world around us.
We are aghast at how bad the world is these days. We are shocked by cruelty and deception and what we perceive to be evil. We are quick to judge and slow to understand things like stupidity and selfishness and foolishness.
We stand outside society and ask “how can people do that?”
“The world is a crazy place,” we say, as if the world exists an arm’s length away.
And we never seem to notice that we are the people we talk about. We are “the world these days”. We are, each one of us, more than outside observers of what human nature has become.
We have, each one of us, the exact same potential for impact.
The world is not some massive thing that spins just beyond our reach, but a collaboration of millions and millions of tiny people who are leaving their own mark. And those tiny marks, like pricks from a ballpoint pen, make up the great collage that is the world these days.
We are so desperate to change the picture, so eager to critique its dark and light spots, all the while forgetting that we hold the artist’s pen in our own two hands.
We are the world.
Every time we open our mouths, we put something – for better or worse – onto the canvas. Every time we get online and share “what’s on our mind” on Facebook or “what’s happening” on Twitter, we contribute to today’s definition of society – not because of our witty observations on life, but because we are the subject of those observations.
Whether we like it or not, we – each and every one of us – bear the responsibility of people these days.
We, both you and I, are the world. We are leaving our mark with our words, our silence, our actions and our interactions.
I have to remember this when I see cruelty and pain and suffering. I have to remember that I am neither an observer nor a product nor a victim of this world. I am a contributor. And my contributions carry the exact same weight and credibility as those of every other contributor on this monster project.
I have to remember that I, too, hold a pen.
And with that pen comes amazing power to help shape the overall picture. I can draw light spots or dark spots. I can add love or the lack of love. I can be cruel or I can be kind, but the impact is mine to make. The picture is mine as much as it is those people’s.
And the picture is yours, too.