The Dalai Lama once said “if you think you are too insignificant to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito”.
Many of us believe that we are powerless, that we can’t do much to change the situations around us, especially big, global issues. The reality is that we can always be someone and do something to help change the situation.
We have no idea about the impact we have. As a matter of fact we seriously doubt if we have any impact at all. We tend to be very self-critical and almost seem to experience ourselves as inadequate. When you read the quote about the mosquito you probable grinned, right? It sounds very familiar to most of us: the annoyance of a mosquito in your bedroom. But was the next step in your thought process: “jeez, if a tiny mosquito can have that much impact how much impact must I have?” Probably not. You probably discard the thought of having a massive impact immediately.
I have a lot of experience with this topic. Like most of you, I don’t think I have much of an impact. Sure, I post my writings online and according to Google Analytics people click on it. And yes, I do share my thoughts and feelings because I believe it has the power to create connections and trigger insights. But even though I believe it with my heart and I am faithful to my practice of writing stuff down there is a part of me that is very skeptical. That part just can’t imagine I will ever make a difference and certainly can’t imagine the idea that I might already be having an impact.
“We need to manage our feelings of powerlessness, of being overwhelmed by despair. We do have power, and we should know how to use it to effect change. We have to organize ourselves. Openness and loving speech can work miracles. Every parent, teacher, businessperson, and artist can always do something to encourage collective awakening. Everyone is responsible. The situation is too important to leave to politicians alone. Without collective awakening, nothing will happen. Awakening is the foundation of every kind of change. Each of us has to sit down and look deeply to see what we can be and what we can do today.”
Excerpt From “The Art of Power” by Thich Nhat Hanh
Some of us reserve their loving speech for people close to them, others only pretend to be kind to strangers. But loving speech – speaking from a non-judgmental and compassionate place – is something we can practice and develop. Our economic system is organized around expansion and maximization. What if we aim to structurally expand and maximize our loving speech?
When Thich Nath Hanh says that everyone is responsible he meant that you and I are responsible. We are not partially responsible, we are fully responsible. When I allow his words to penetrate me I get dizzy. Wow.. I AM RESPONSIBLE! I is almost too big to take in. And then the inner coward wants to come in and says ‘don’t take that stuff too seriously’ and ‘it is just a metaphor or something’. But it isn’t. It is true. And I know that and you know that. We are already having an impact. Our actions and intentions count and therefore it matters if our intentions are honorable. And if we overcome the paralysis of powerlessness and we maximize and expand our kindness for the next 20 years or so we certainly make a huge contribution to the awakening of the collective. How does that sound for a career path?
This is episode 28 in a series of 100 blog posts that will be published daily during the 100 Day Warrior, a unique program around physical strength, inner wisdom and meaning. All posts are written by Atalwin Pilon, founder of Basic Goodness and creator of the 100 Day Warrior. For requests for motivational speaking, in-company workshops, online coaching and mindfulness training click here. If you would like to join our international community of brave and inspiring human beings or just follow this blog and receive updates, please click here or sign up on the right side of the page. Atalwin specializes in coaching smart and creative people, both groups and individuals. If you are interested in a free coaching session click here.