“Act as if everything you do matters." My favorite saying, by William James, who was thought of as a pragmatist. I try to live that out. Everything you do matters, for good or ill. I did not used to live that out, hence made some awful mistakes, like taking jobs that were probably ill-suited to me, and running up debts that I could not pay off, and acting impulsively while not considering the effect of my actions and decisions on others.
All of that has changed in my life.
What we say or fail to say on the net matters; what we say to friend and family members and loved ones matters. Even how we interact with strangers matters. We may not recognize the ripple effect of our actions, but it is real, if unpredictable.
A denigrating or condemning word can tip the scale of a relationship negatively, creating a rift that is extremely difficult to heal.
In terms of social justice, what if Rosa Parks had refused to give up her seat?
Now, I see work, paid or not, as very significant, not assessing the value of work in terms of money. Now I recognize the vital importance of preserving integrity in a relationship.
I just received a rejection of my poetry manuscript by a publisher. This is important because it could prompt me to make some important revisions. The fact that I am not deep-sixing the project is important too, because it makes me feel better about myself, knowing that I am not giving up on my work as a poet. It also may encourage others to not give up on their writing ambitions, despite setbacks, as a result of reading this
What if Barack Obama had not taken his stand on marriage equality? Some may decry this, others may applaud his decision. I fall into the latter category. Regardless, his decision to speak out, whatever the timing, will, I believe, have a significant ripple effect for years to come.
As a senior, sometimes I feel that some younger people, well-meaning or not, think that somehow we should stay on a shelf somewhere and not make a creative contribution to our national life. And sometimes seniors buy into that stereotype. Not this 67 year old.
Some people regard voting as an empty exercise. But every vote counts (or should!). People who sit out an important election like the one in November, frankly, get what they deserve, when it comes to leadership.
Actually, seen in the right way, every election is significant.
The little guy who stands up for himself when faced with bullying behavior, the bystander who intervenes in that kind of situation--enormously important actions.
Yes, act as if everything you do matters. I, for one, try to live that out, and feel better about myself. As I said, we cannot predict the ripple effect--for good or ill.