I am often inspired by the words of wisdom spoken by the late Saint Mother Theresa. One of my favorites is her quote, “If you can’t feed 100 people, then feed just one.” There is such power in the simplicity of that statement, and it is in the simple things that I find myself seeking meaning and purpose these days.
Everywhere I look, there seems to be another need crying out to me. 2020 has brought more turbulence and discomfort than any year I can recollect. And on top of the great need I see in so many places, I am fatigued.
Like everyone else, the demands of this pandemic have me frazzled. But in that disarray and discomfort, I am reminded of the importance of rooting ourselves in the simple things—the simple act of self-forgiveness, but also simple acts of inclusion, compassion, and consideration of others. I think Mother Theresa said (and did) it well. She saw each person’s individual struggle and believed both in the power of responding to each individual need but also in the impact of everyone doing their fair share, their own small part. It adds up.
I often wonder—what if all who could fed just one, and those who could feed a hundred did so? (Or even better, what if we created food re-distribution techniques that got the food produced to those who needed it, foregoing the significant food waste present in our current systems?)
Four years ago, we hatched the idea here at PGK of something we call Create the Change® Day, a chance to come together as a community to help the amazing nonprofits in our own backyards who touch the lives of those in need every day, while teaching our children about the importance of service and the power we each have to make a difference. While intense labors of love, those days have been some of the most joyful I have experienced. The outpouring of pure goodness from nonprofit partners and families wanting to instill empathy and kindness in their children, and the team of volunteers we have assembled to make these days possible, have made these events some of the most “bucket-filling” days of my adult life.
COVID put a damper on our in-person plans for 2020, as it has put a damper on so many things this year. But we were undeterred in our desire to host this annual event, particularly at a time when the world is in such a great need of our engagement, our awareness, and our response to the struggles of this time. We’ve shown our flexibility and our commitment to making it possible for youth to #CreateTheChange and are so excited to offer an entire week of service opportunities for kids, teens, and families November 7 through the 14th (with a “party” on the 15th to celebrate all the great accomplishments!)
During this week, we will offer a series of free virtual service activities via Zoom tied to the eight causes on our website, everything from helping isolated seniors to protecting the environment to helping other kids and fighting hunger. With a special Teen Track for older youth, there really is something for everyone, and we are hopeful we can catalyze a small army to commit themselves to joining us in the simple acts of goodness that add up and truly make a difference.
To be honest, simple acts are about all I seem capable of these days. In the overwhelming day-to-day of managing virtual learning, the energy of four kids at home, work, COVID precautions, and (remote) familial expectations, there isn’t a lot of bandwidth left over.
But I remind myself that it is in the awareness – and in the little bits of action that we can muster right now – that we cumulatively can make an impact. So, I am going to work on cutting myself a little slack, acknowledge the inevitable shortcomings of this time, and re-commit myself to finding the beauty in feeding just one. In doing so, one never knows how many other people they may inspire and how many other people may be fed along the way.
We hope you too will recognize that right now (especially) the act doesn’t have to be huge, there just has to be action. Together we will #CreateTheChange and pass that legacy and tradition on to the next generation. Are you with us? Registrations are live, easy, and free. All you have to do is click here.