Today a combination of chance and too many emails meant I saw 7 online profiles where some variation of 'change the world' was how people described their goals.
Its an admirable aim - I confess to using it myself once in a while.
In fact, I've been part of dozens and dozens of conversations where friends and colleagues wondered if they were actually changing the world, or when they would, or at the very least how they would make a dent in the universe.
How would we all leave our mark or at least find our bliss - after all if we weren't, were we failing at life or doing it all wrong? How else would we be happy? Wasn't the point of it all to do something incredible, and find fame and fortune?
Then today morning on the radio on the drive to work, I heard about the story of a 60-year old retiree who had lost her house. She was doing an unpaid internship, working 50 hours a week, to learn a new trade so that she could get employed. There was no guarantee that she would be, but this was her best shot at making ends meet. Changing the world was not an option. The only alternative was trying to get by with dignity.
I also realized that she was probably better off than most people on this planet - where even dignity was a dream.
The very fact that we have the opportunity to aspire to 'change the world' is either a testament to hard work (ours or someone else's) or a blessing. Its something we shouldn't take for granted, and irrespective of wether we choose to aspire to 'change the world', we should at the very least attempt to give others the chance to dream of it as well.
Help someone less fortunate than you - changing the world for the better is hard, but you can almost always help make someone else's world a little better.