We’ve Saved the World – Now What?Posted: July 27, 2014
Congratulations everyone! Give yoursleves a hand, let’s slap each other on the back, our work is OVER.
We’ve done it; Aids: Cured. Global Warming: Cooled. Unsustainable Fuels: Sustained. Child Soldiers: Home. War: Peaced. Lost Planes: Found.
So now what?
Obviously, we haven’t saved the world. But imagine for a moment that we have. Imagine that all of the big battles have been won and let’s allow ourselves to dream a little… So, now what? Where do we focus our attention? If the world experienced a time of relative ease -with no animals becoming extinct, no world wars, no Arab Springs, no hostile coups and no child slaves- what in the world would we do with ourselves?
If I had to guess, I would say that it would give us the necessary breathing room to look around us and see what might be needed in the cities where we live. Now, before I get in too much trouble, I want to recognize and agree with you on the fact that most Americans have it very easy compared to the vast majority of the developing world. What I am about to say is in no way meant to downplay folks who are going through unimaginable terror. However, there has got to be a time and a place for us to hunker down and dig our fingers into the community around us.
Case in point: I left the state for several years to go travel around the entire continent to raise funds and awareness to ease the suffering of a group of people who were under some serious shit in Central Africa. And I am very proud of what our team accomplished over the next several years. However, upon returning home I took a look around and the high school in the town that I grew up in was still in disrepair, the businesses were struggling, and the music scene had died. What happened? Nothing, that’s what. Nothing for years and years. While I was out trying to “save the world” my hometown was falling apart. (However, I’ve recently found a group of people who are working hard to turn this city into a desirable place to live and it’s a vision that I’ve caught onto. I’m very excited to share over the coming weeks.)
I guess what I am trying to say is this: There are people who devote their life to enriching the world around them, and they do it in big ways. They start non-profits and they share empowering stories and they motivate a nation. And it’s amazing.
But don’t forget about the folks that are telling a quieter story; one that doesn’t affect the whole world but affects a few children in a forgotten school district. If there is ever a time where you can help these people, please do it. And if you find your life feeling a little bit empty, partner up with some friends and see how big of a difference you can make… in a small way.
If you have ideas or examples of how you’re making a difference in your city, let us know in the comments.