I’m not sure where you live, but here in New England we’ve got a strange, Puritan idea that our suffering does the world some good. It goes like this:
People are suffering in the world, so therefore I should suffer alongside them in order not to add to their burdens.
There seems to be some way in which self-denial and even self-flagellation alleviates the guilt that goes along with being born into a “privileged” situation – one in which you have enough to eat, you’re safe from bodily harm, etc.
Can it really be that our suffering can do the world good? Can holding ourselves back from the full expression of our being, denying ourselves, and staying small help to end another’s’ suffering? Or is it just the opposite?
Now, math is not my best subject, but still I don’t understand the equation that says suffering + suffering = something good.
What I do believe is that while there is suffering in the world, our best chance of doing something about it is through making ourselves whole. And the best way I know how to do that is to find the intersection of your passion and the difference you want to make in the world.
“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.” Brian Tracy
When you find what you love, and find a way to put that to work doing good in the world, you do begin to alleviate suffering.
It’s not through dimming our light, but letting it shine that we make our greatest impact.
You’re not here to just do as you’re told.
You’re not here to take up as little space as possible.
You’re not here to save joy for the next person. When you use it, you create more.
What are some of the ways that you have seen, done, or been told to make yourself small to make the world a better place? Please leave your comments below!