Most of us have lofty dreams of making a difference, changing the world and leaving a legacy. We are wired that way in the image of our Creator. So how do some people become world changers and others not?
I believe world changers change the world one person at a time. Whether it’s teaching someone younger than you how not to fall in the traps you fell in or volunteering at a homeless shelter, world changers all have the desire to serve. At the very core of serving others is putting someone else’s needs before your own. (Of course, there must be balance to everything.)
Changing the world also couples the attitude of serving others with reaching out to those closest to you first. Serving our family, relatives and friends is a good start. If we’re not careful, it’s so easy to get caught up in investing all our time and energy into others that we forget about those closest to us. Make time to spend with your spouse and children. Take time to communicate with your friends. Enjoy life with those around you. “What good is it if you gain the whole world but lose your soul?”
Lastly, world changers inspire others to be world changers. They lead and serve by example. They are the first to stand for an issue and pave the way for others to follow. They are willing to endure heartache, ridicule and persecution but also reap the benefits of seeing lasting positive change.
A few years ago, my husband and I had a big dream to change a small part of the world by mentoring teenagers in rural communities. We joined the ranks of others who had a similar vision but focused on our sphere of influence. We served others, often sacrificing time with family and friends and a “comfortable lifestyle”, to help teens find their way in life. Nine years later, we’ve seen some fruit from our labor by watching many of them graduate from high school, finish college, attend graduate/professional school, stay out of jail, escape teen pregnancy, and become valuable members to our community and world. This may not have happened for some of them had we not dared to ‘change the world’ by changing one teenager at a time. I say that not to brag, but to make the point that each of us has a “world changer” mentality inside of us. But it takes courage and faith to step out and do something with it.
Are you a world changer? Will you leave a legacy? It’s up to you. But, you have what it takes to make a difference. You have power over some sphere of influence. Start there and see what happens. Be the change you want to see.
~Coletta Jones Patterson