Frustrated with Complacency

Photo by David Castillo Dominici
Photo by David Castillo Dominici

When I graduated from college I was full of optimism and hope for how I would impact the world. I launched into a stint with AmeriCorps, serving at a refugee resettlement agency. But beyond that the convictions and values I honed in college sat dormant.

My books about environmental justice, racial reconciliation, and intentional community have found comfortable homes on my bookshelves. Careful lines of dust wedged themselves between the spines, taunting me with the reality of my complacency.

I’ve felt a stirring deep in a forgotten place for the urgency I once felt to activate change.

But I push it down, avoiding it by planning my future and making cynical remarks about other people’s inaction.

It’s easy to blame other people for the lack of change. It’s easy to sit around and wait for someone else to take leadership. 

But the fire in my belly is starting to return and I just want to say:

Don’t wait for someone else! If you see a need, and you can meet it–DO IT.

There’s strength in numbers of course and you can rally others to your cause, but it’s absolutely unnecessary to wring your hands and hope someone else gets something started.

I’m not waiting anymore. One way I’m taking charge is my involvement at church. I’ve been holding my breath on this one, but I just received approval to organize a community garden for refugees on our church property!!  I will blog about the details of that at a later time–I’m really excited!

I’ve realized that there’s no point in waiting for someone else to start the initiatives that I’d like to see. I just need to do it. I can’t do everything–and I shouldn’t–but if I’m passionate about something and feel equipped to make it happen, then I should.

Maybe your faith community is a good place to start in making your impact on the world. Maybe it’s your workplace, neighborhood, or family. What is it about your community that you wish was different? How can you be a part of the solution?

I’m serious. Don’t wait around. Don’t let complacency reign. Just take charge and make it happen.

Here’s a quote that has helped bolster my courage to be an ordinary change-maker in my community:

The man who moves mountains begins by carrying away small stones. – Confucius

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

You don’t need to start a movement or become a full time activist or sell everything you own. Start small. Start where you are with the people around you, with the ordinary things of life.  It just might be the changes we make to the ordinary that make the biggest difference afterall.

What stones can YOU begin to carry away? What keeps you from doing it?

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