Guest Post by Josh Allan Dykstra
The people who run the world do so because they care to do so.
They are not any smarter than you or me.
They don’t have access to any better information.
They’re certainly not of higher character or moral fiber (if that wasn’t proved to you in 2008-2009, you weren’t paying attention).
They don’t have more grit or resilience.
(If we’re being honest, they may very well have started with more connections or money, but that’s becoming less and less important as it gets easier and easier to connect.*)
And this is why it all comes back to “care.”
The people who run the world — those who make the rules, etc. — do so because they want to do so. The vast majority of us opt out of these decisions because it’s such a hassle to participate. We want the world to be better, but if we’re being honest, it’s just such hard work to actually make it better.
If you feel this way, you are not alone.
There are many days when I wake up and think…
“Is it really worth the hassle?”
Good question… for my kids and their kids, I’m pretty sure it is. Then I think…
“Can one person truly make a difference?”
On most days I stay convinced that’s the only way it works. Then I think…
“Deep down, do I somehow enjoy banging my head against a brick wall?”
No, I don’t. But if I don’t care, who will?
The thing about making a “dent in the universe” is that you often have to be the hammer doing the denting. We don’t talk about this very much. It hurts, and often times, if we’re being honest, it kind of sucks. But I’m also pretty sure it’s the only way things really change — if we care enough to actually see it through.
*The money thing is admittedly tricky because of the whole Maslow problem: unless we have our basic needs taken care of, we don’t really think about these “bigger” issues. But “need” is more relative than we give it credit for. Money is horribly distracting — most of us, particularly in the US, do NOT need as much money as we think we do. We think we have to compare ourselves with the people who were born into a higher tax bracket, but of course, we don’t. We don’t REALLY need many of those things. We’ve just convinced ourselves otherwise.