I have often blogged on the importance of making a difference by thinking small, or rather, local. Meaning, if you want to change the world, start by changing yourself. Gandhi’s “BE the change you want to see” is the universal starting point. Failing to do so has delivered to us a shallow culture of hypocrisy and deeply ingrained corruption from the highest levels of boardrooms to the shop floor, from congress and the presidency to the local planning commission or school board. Epidemic corruption makes for profound distrust, breeding systemic, deeply ingrained cynicism.
The longing for Values and Integrity is why many Friends of Sewanee Creek have told me they are drawn to the dream of living in a community of people who genuinely care for one another, hard-working people of strong, traditional core values, people who are civil and respectful to each other even, or especially, when they don’t agree or have conflicting interests. That dream can only be realized when each of us commits to be the shining example of the community we want to be in.
That starts with me. As the obviously imperfect founder of the Village, the self-imposed burden of self-examination can be daunting. The worst kind of cynicism can be the loss of trust or self-respect that comes from failing to meet one’s own standards to perfection. And . . . nobody wants to hang out with cynics.
While each of us does our best to live to high standards and values, it is important to think SMALL as well as local. We need to recognize that it is often the small acts of kindness or civility that can make the biggest difference.
This morning, I ran across an article titled, “The Power of Small Moments”. It got me thinking of the huge task I have set for myself of building a culture of goodness in the Village, let alone the daunting task of being a shining example of what I want to see. I found it oddly comforting. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.