If you know in your small little corner of the world, then it is not a best kept secret he exclaimed to me. His eyes glinting to match his laughter at my choice to stay naïve. I certain on this National Ice Cream Day that my special place would not be busy in a crazy chaotic way. His wisdom was equally certain I would find I didn’t enjoy the very lengthy wait.
The words small little corner of the world became the rhythm to my running feet, as I reflected on some incredibly wise teachers I have been blessed to meet recently. I am privileged to listen to their words spoken with such humility. I am in awe of things they have accomplished though that isn’t what these souls see. They have found such a beautiful and graceful way to balance pride with modesty.
As I heard one footstep crunch against the path of the trail to the words small little and the other then crunch corner of world, I thought about how making a difference can create a tug and a pull. There is the pull that one might feel to do something that leaves a legacy. Perhaps it is an architect who desires it is through a unique and exquisite building. Or it is a sculpturer who wishes for that statue to be in a prestigious museum for all to see.
Maybe it is a grandfather who hopes the grandchild to be is a grandson to carry on the family name. Or it is the teacher that strives to build roots for her kindergartners as they learn through future grades. Or maybe it is the waitress who desires her single person tables feel they are dining at a home away from home. Or it is a scientist who seeks a cure that is not yet known.
And then there is the tug that challenges change makers’ faith, that yanks at an arm to hold it back as the tug tries to put doubt in first place. Perhaps it is a coach of a high school baseball team who desires to coach a minor league. His motivation not for fame nor prestige. He believes in his coaching style to mentor players who dream of reaching the majors as pitcher, catcher, or for left field. Certain this high school coach is in his gifts and his skills. Yet, in his small corner of the world, this coach doubts he will make that difference he desires to achieve. After all, he is just one in a very large pool of others who share similar dreams.
Or it is a teacher who has created a class curriculum that inspires students who struggle to learn traditionally. Her students are able to learn math, science, and reading creatively. She dreams of turning her curriculum into a standard across all schools in her state. Of course, step one is to first get buy-in from the teachers in her school for all grades. Yet, doubt sits beside her when in staff meetings some teachers resist her teaching methodologies. After all, in her small corner of the world, she is just a teaching rookie.
Hopefully these change makers recognize one important key. Right where they are at in their small corners of the world it is already happening. They are influencing the players they coach and the students they teach. They are making a difference by putting into practice a start to their dreams. The practice each is doing is building arm strength. Soon these change agents will be the pullers and tug will lose its place. At least it is a choice that each one can make. Each practice provides an opportunity to ask, is this what I still envision, or do I see something differently? Perhaps the vision gets refined or the same dream increases in its intensity.
How about for you – change maker that you are and desire to be. Yes, each and every person has that ability. So, how about for you, in the small corner of the world in which you stand? Are you listening to the pull, or is the tug holding on to your hand? Can you see where you are already making a difference or are you feeling you are only one and there is nothing you can do? If the later, I encourage you to look and look again for that key beside you. It is there, that difference you make, guaranteed. To see it is that graceful balance between faith and advocacy for dreams. In that small corner of the world you are taking up a very big space. What you do matters each and every moment of every day.