I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to make your life count and how to do that. Does it have to be something big and grand like running a multinational corporation or discovering a new vaccine or finding a way to eradicate poverty? No, of course not. It boils down to just one thing: Do you care enough?
What do you really care about? Not the “lip service” kind of caring.That’s easy and empty. And maybe it makes you feel righteous but it doesn’t mean a thing. I’m talking about the real deal. Caring deeply and working hard for positive change instead of just talking about it. Instead of saying, “Somebody should do something!”
Maybe for you it’s creating a small business built on quality and integrity, one that supports your family and your employees. Or making sure that your neighborhood school is providing a great education for all kids. Or working to get a shelter for victims of domestic violence in your city. Maybe it’s none of these things. It might be that you care about putting an end to cyberbullying. Or ensuring access to clean water for everyone, no matter what their zip code happens to be. Or preventing child abuse. I don’t know what you care about but YOU know in your heart what really matters.
The trouble is, for too many people the gulf between lip service and action is too wide to cross.
Do you care enough? That’s the most important question — because knowing what matters and being willing to DO something about it, well, that’s another matter entirely.
When you see an injustice or cruelty or unfairness, do you shake your head, and mutter, “Somebody should do something about this!”
Let’s translate that statement. What you’re really saying is, “It’s OK with me. It’s not that big a deal. I don’t care.”
Every time you turn away. . .
Each time you let it slide . . .
Every time you wait for someone else to stand up and speak out .. .
You’re telling the world “I just don’t care enough.”
And the more you do it, the easier it gets to let somebody else take a stand.
To let somebody else put herself out there.
To hide in your safe little cocoon.
I know because I’ve done it myself. And deep down, it feels pretty rotten. Cowardly. Powerless. Ashamed. Weak.
Do you care enough . . . to be strong? To stand up for what’s right and against what you know is wrong? To risk failing? Do you care enough to start over again and again if that’s what it takes? To take a chance on being ridiculed for your beliefs? Do you care enough to be vulnerable and perhaps even to stand alone? Because, my friend, THAT’S what it takes to make your life count. Caring enough!
And every time you’re brave enough to take a stand . . .
Every time you keep going when you’d rather curl up in a tight little ball and quit . . .
Every time you’re willing to speak up for those who have no voice . . .
You become stronger. More powerful. More confident. And something amazing happens. One day you look around and find that you’re not standing alone any more. Your courage, your honesty, and your spirit inspires others to be brave right along with you.
“Somebody should do something about this!”
YOU are somebody!
Stop waiting for someone else to do it. YOU are somebody — so care enough to be brave. Care enough to stand up and speak out. Lead the way for others to follow. Make a difference. Make your life count!
Bonnie Pond is an inspiring speaker and founder of the international Make Your Life Count Movement. She’s the author of The Power of Three: How to be Happy and Get What You Want in Life (Without Doing Anything Illegal, Immoral, or Unethical) and Unlock Your Creativity: 30 Days to a More Creative YOU! and self-described “Bahooda Kicker” who helps women stop settling for less than they really want in life. Her mission is to motivate women around the world to live their purpose, love their lives, and make them count.