“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” ~ E.B. White
These words echoed in my mind today, thanks to the reflective sermon at church this morning. I am not an overtly religious person, and am of the “live and let live” philosophy when it comes to life choices. But as I grow older, I have learned to appreciate the importance of taking an hour here and there to slow down and just be . . . just listen . . . just think. Perhaps that is why no matter how frazzled and stretched thin I may be when I walk through the doors into the welcoming community at church, I feel a peace settle in during the hour or so that I am there.
Our pastor shared the E.B. White quote that opened this post, and she reminded us of the need to make room for joy in our lives every day. Her sermon reinforced the ideal of enjoying the world while improving it at the same time; the two aspirations are not mutually exclusive.
During the month where so many take time to reflect on their blessings, gratitude often is intertwined with acts of kindness — joy given and joy received. Improving the world may be found in the daily headlines — a solution that improves world health, predicting storm patterns earlier to help people move to places of safety in a timely manner, a brokered peace treaty. Improving the world, however, also may be found at the local school where a volunteer sits with a child and opens his mind to the power of the written word, or down the street where a neighbor cheerfully shovels not only her sidewalk but also her elderly neighbor’s. The world is not only the global stage, but also your own backyard.
Take time to experience joy, to share joy, to receive joy. And in doing so, find your own way to improve the world.
Ciao! ~ Kat