Saturday, December 2, 2023

#336 / It Does

I get "Inspiring Quotes" every day, sent to my email inbox for free. On Sunday, November 26, 2023, the quote above showed up. As you can see, the quote is from William James, a philosopher and psychologist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Here is his picture: 

As I sometimes do, for items I think are significant, I passed along this "Inspiring Quote" by posting it onto my Facebook page, thus making it available to those who are my "Facebook Friends," and to anyone else who might want to browse around my Facebook profile

One of my Facebook Friends had a prompt comeback: 

I have been working for peace, justice, and a planet that can sustain life for over 40 years. Feels like I've made zero difference.

Later, my Facebook Friend did confess that she had:

(1) Started a low income dental clinic in Venice Beach that's still going half a century later; (2) Started a Battered Womens Shelter in Santa Cruz 40 years ago that's still going - now [located] in Watsonville; (3) Helped to stop the Jordan Cove Pipeline in Southern Oregon; (4) Stopped GMO crops from being planted in my county 10 years ago; (5) Helped to stop nuclear power plants after our civil disobedience protest at Diable Canyon 40 years ago; (6) Stopped MX missiles at Vandenberg Airforce Base near Santa Barbara; (7) Got a 4 day temporary cease fire in Gaza last week..."

Upon reflection, in other words, my Facebook Friend realized that she has actually made more than "zero difference" in the world. I would say, in fact, that she has made a lot of difference (and all for the good).

I would like to suggest that we follow the example provided by my Facebook Friend, and struggle back against those "feelings" we have about our contributions to the world. In fact, I think that this is exactly what William James was getting at.

The world is in a parlous position - on, oh, so many levels. We never feel we have done enough, or maybe anything at all. But..... does what we do make a difference?

The answer is, "Yes." 

The answer is (as William James says): "It does!"

1 comment:

  1. Very encouraging words when feeling deflated. Thank you!


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