Maybe I can’t tell you when you’re ready to make a difference in this world, and hell, maybe you’ll never truly be “ready”, but as the quote from activist Dr. John Francis above says, this is how you’ll know when “you’re looking at an opportunity” to make a difference.
And he should know. When Dr. Francis was a young African-American man he witnessed an oil spill near where he lived. Eventually helping in the cleanup wasn’t going to be enough for him. In his book, Planetwalker: 22 Years of Walking. 17 Years of Silence., Dr. Francis explains how it came to be that he stopped using all forms of motorized transportation for 22 years, took a vow of silence lasting 17 years, and walked across two continents.
After reading this book I began to walk almost everywhere I went, averaging about 7 miles a day at the time. I explained to my father how great I was feeling, not only due to the myriad of benefits of walking, but because my beliefs were lining up with my actions. Then my Dad told me I was crazy and so was Dr. Francis, to which I responded, “That’s exactly what his father said about him!” Yes, even his own father called him crazy and when you’re going to make change in this world you should expect that. It can take time for family and friends to adjust to your new diet or the idea that you just have to go to this protest. Sometimes they don’t come around and other times you may be surprised that not only will they lovingly support you without understanding they may make positive changes too. My father came around eventually, because really, how mad can you be at a person who decides they want to walk?
You never know what good your one small act of good can do. Friends, that’s one of the things that keeps me going. Oh, and about never truly being ready- you may also be surprised to find you may just act anyway. Sometimes that happens and sometimes that’s okay. Dr. Francis didn’t plan on remaining silent for 17 years.
His story is so incredible you have to read it to believe it! It inspired me so maybe it will inspire you too. If the quote above inspires you pin, post, tweet, and share it with others. Are you familiar with his story? Who inspires you to make a difference?