Improve the World by Starting Now


improve the world

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment 
before starting to improve the world. – Anne Frank

Other than the light rain that taps upon the rooftop I haven’t focused my attention on anything in particular this morning. I welcome an unexpected day off from work with no plans except to relax. My aching bones plead for relief from the thud of a hammer, and the weight of my woodworking trade.

Today, I can do whatever I choose.

Yet, as often happens, life has other plans, and has presented me with a compelling opportunity.

The rain still sounds upon the roof, louder now, and I exchange the tools of my trade for words that fuel the dreams of a waking man.

How cunning life is, to place inspiration in my path when I thought there was nowhere I needed to be. It amuses me, my presumption that life might require my presence in any place other than the moment.

The real world places requirements and expectations on our lives. Perhaps much of the world is not as real as it seems.

As I write, lightning cracks, thunder roars, and the hailstones that fall from a blackened sky leave no doubt that nature’s energy is indeed real.

Be Where You Are to Improve the World

Nature and the Universe invite us to be mindful, to remember who we are, and to literally smell the roses.

Gaze at countless stars in the darkness of night. Listen to the swaying treetops whisper in an ancient forest. Weave a wandering trail of footprints in the ever shifting sand.

Tell someone you love that your love will never die.

I know, smelling the roses won’t pay the bills, and tomorrow I’ll once again be swinging a hammer, creating progress, and enduring the aches and pains.

Yet, bills will get paid, progress will be made, and though I truly enjoy what I do, I will continually ask myself, “Is this my true purpose in life?”.

Be Patient to Improve the World

improve the world

Life can be endlessly burdened with questions. Perhaps we must, as Rilke wrote,

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves”.

If I someday understand and implement this wisdom, then my love will be limitless. I have many, many questions.

Though you may ask many of the same questions I do, the surest answers you find will always be those found only within you. I simply want you to know that you are not alone.

If each of us shares a small amount of love every day, what a world this world would be. If you think love is what you are, share it, not because you want to be loved in return, but simply because you have it to share.

I hope that everyone with whom I have crossed paths, has found reason to be grateful. For those who haven’t, perhaps we’ll meet again, and I can offer a more enlightened recognition of your beauty. For those I have yet to meet, know that your beauty precedes you, and the pleasure of your acquaintance will be mine.

Breathe deep, and know that in this moment you are indeed okay.

You’re Invited

Today I received a timely answer in the form of an invitation. It read:

“You are invited by life to elect yourself a spiritual leader, and to take office today. What does a spiritual leader say? A spiritual leader does not say, ‘Follow me’. A spiritual leader says, ‘I’ll go first’.

Decide today to take the oath: I promise to ‘go first’ in demonstrating forgiveness, compassion, understanding, generosity, kindness, cheerfulness, positivity, and love.”

What better way to improve the world than by being a spiritual leader?

Alas, in no way do I consider myself to be a spiritual leader, and I certainly don’t expect anyone to follow me. I’m just an ordinary, often puzzled inhabitant of a Universe that gives freely all the answers, yet tenders an overabundance of questions with its perceived complexity.

But then, I never have had a problem with going first, and to be honest, the unending questions come from my own simple mind. The Universe is what it is.

Promise to Improve the World

And so I take the oath. I promise to go first. I promise to create positive change within my own heart. I promise to encourage positive change wherever I am.

You can too can take this oath. You too can be a source of inspiration.

Within each of us there is much courage to forgive, great compassion to understand, a generous and kind heart, and a boundless capacity for love.

Within each of us are the answers we seek.

Share to Improve the World

Follow your heart. Go first. Seek the wonders of Nature, and the Universe, share them, and stir the spirits of everyone you meet.

Something as simple as a warm, friendly smile radiates the love that comes from deep within your heart. Allow love to flow through you, and be grateful for every opportunity.

Each day is a new beginning, and the world awaits your unique beauty.

Who will go first?


Written by, and with thanks to, author:

Cary West

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