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Let it begin with me

Image: Nuttapong,

I sit here after flipping through Facebook and seeing many posts about 9/11 and the anniversary last week. It brings back the feelings of fear and unknowing from that morning.

This morning I got an e-mail from World Vision asking for help in Syria because the refugee situation is growing. Over 1 million refugees are children. I think of my children and cringe.

Looking at any news page, the levels of hate and mockery for others and government is so high. The negativity is like a heavy weight.

We are surrounded with injustice, pain, fear, self-righteousness, shame, unknown, and loneliness.

It seems easy to become overwhelmed by it all. To feel blocked in. To feel overpowered. Or worse, to become calloused.

But there is something we can do. It is something much bigger than we may realize. It is something desperately needed and something we have the power to do.

I will be the change I want to see – Let it begin with me

Earlier this summer Karen Meazen Miller posted ‘Let it begin with me‘ as her status update on Facebook and I jotted it down.  I can’t change the world, but I can change me. I can’t change what others do, but I can change what I do to others. It won’t change the world, and probably won’t make history, but it can make a huge difference to someone or to many people I meet.

Unfortunately, the negativity, fear, hate, and pain we see in the world is a collection of individuals choosing these things and these actions. I can choose to imitate them (even if only in my words and thoughts), I can ignore them, or I can live a different life in contrast and opposition to the wrongs I see.

Instead of holding fear I can help others find safety

Instead of responding with negativity I can speak positively

Instead of being overwhelmed by pain I can take action to help someone else

Instead of withdrawing in loneliness I can offer friendship and love

Instead of being upset with injustice shown to me I can make sure to treat others fairly

Instead of feeling poor I can share my wealth with those who need it more

Instead of being disgusted with another’s actions I can support those living positively

Instead of feeling inadequate I can encourage those around me

Instead of struggling with my own self-worth I can work to build up others

Instead of being upset with hate I can show acceptance

It is both wrong to say I can change the world and that I can’t change the world, because I do have the ability to be the change I want to see in the world. I can’t change those who cause hurt and pain, but I can choose to live to show light and reflect Love. Where we often feel powerless we do hold the power over our own actions.

We are all in this together.

We all feel pain, fear, and struggle in life. The things I feel I need so much in my life are things I can give to others also needing them (possibly sometimes more than I).

When we chose to give what we feel we need we are changed.  There is power in this, there is peace in this, there is purpose in this, and there is healing in this.

The world needs me and the world needs you to be the change we want to see.

Let it begin with us.


  1. Heather Heather

    Wow, Lorilee, this is so beautifully written. I especially like the “Instead of . . .”‘s. They are concrete examples of what we can do. I have a 9 year old son who just last night was in tears over war and injustice. I do not expose him to the news much, but kids know more than we think. I know you have a daughter similar in age. Do you have any thoughts on what a child of this age can specifically do to feel like they are helping in the world in a way that matters to them (beyond the instead of’s)? I am trying to look into volunteer opportunities for him, but I also have two year old that I cannot bring with us to many of the places I have found. Any insight from your experience is appreciated!

    • Heather, that is a tough question. I also try and keep my kids from knowing too much about what is going on, but your right, they do know a lot. Lily has donated a lot of her money to different causes. So many times it is all we can do as parents for the situations going on and I think they pick up on that. Even if it is just $1-$2 I love to see her want to be generous. I also have given her money at Christmas time that she can use to help others (with fun projects like World Vision that let you pick where your money goes).

      When we were back in the US we were involved for a few years with a small community center that I could bring both my kids too while I helped sort clothes. It was small, safe, and they couldn’t do much damage (my son was probably about 2 at the time). Then we got involved delivering baked goods that were donated from a local grocery store (day old donuts and breads) to people in our neighborhood. The kids were in the car most of the time but several of the elderly people loved to see them. When we left for China we donated all our household goods to this center and the kids had a personal connection already which made the whole process fun for them.

      Shopping for the food bank or organizing a food bank drive at the church is very hands on for the kids.

      There are definitely places that are too crazy or not safe to volunteer with kids, but in smaller areas or with elderly there are probably several opportunities. That is what I can think of off the top of my head, I hope that helps 🙂 Good luck!

  2. Raye Cage Raye Cage

    One of my favorite songs is Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”, the lyrics always make me pause & reflect on how I am choosing to think & behave. Here are some of the lyrics…

    “I’m starting with the man in the mirror,
    I’m asking him to change his ways
    and no message could have been any clearer,
    If you wanna make the world a better place,
    take a look at yourself, and then make a change”.

    Change in the world does begin with me & the “instead of’s” you shared are ways we can be a positive influence on people & circumstances.

  3. Nancy Nancy

    Yes we are all in this together. And we need each other. No one person can do everything. But all of us can do something to make our world a better place. I like your instead of….s It takes courage to choose to see things from a positive perspective But it is so worth it .

  4. Hi Lorilee, This is a beautifully written post. It represents your best work. I love the content!

  5. This is so beautiful, Lorilee. Your words blessed me today. 🙂

  6. sally sally

    Well said!

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