My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here. – Jim Henson
What does that mean?
This is another Twitter shortened version of a quote. The more complete quote is: “When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there.”
This is a fairly common statement for people to make. Sometimes it’s about their life or life’s work as a whole, other times it’s something as small as a camp site, as well as anything in-between. In this case, he was talking about his life and the world as a whole, a rather ambitious statement, even if it is qualified by the words “a little bit.”
But there are plenty of ways to improve life in general, be it for the whole world or just your corner of it. And that is what most people try to do, at some point in their lives. Not everyone starts at that point, but most of us get there sooner or later.
Why is contributing important?
Generally, helping others in specific, and the world in general, could be considered a contribution to the overall state of the world. This contribution helps some people directly, and that is the first stage. However, no action is without consequences, just as no pebble thrown into a pond is without ripples, no matter how small.
Like the people on the Telethons say, “No contribution is too small!” Every little bit helps. Each small thing we do serves as an example, an inspiration, or an invitation to another to do something as well. In this manner, even though your action as an individual may seem small, the impact it has on others may well inspire them to do something that has a significantly larger impact.
Imagine if you will, the thought of what a guy with a puppet on his hand could do to improve the world. Before Sesame Street, most people would think that a puppet might impact a few kids here and there at birthday parties or at a fair. However, consider what happened with the Muppets, and where Jim took them. How many kids know more, and do more, because of a simple guy and his puppets?
Where can I apply this in my life?
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just a call for puppeteers. There are infinite possibilities for contributing. For that I am very glad, as my abilities as a puppeteer are good only for inspiring laughter at how bad I am at it. Do you have any talent for working with puppets?
What can you do to help others in your local area? While the immediate thought is directly helping people, I would like to mention that sometimes something simple like picking up trash on a roadside or a walking trail can make a difference. I mention this because there are several anonymous people I have seen tidying up the area near where I live.
There may be other issues regarding access or behind the scenes work you can do, if you don’t like the spotlight, or aren’t a people person. Other ways to contribute, of which I am aware, include delivering meals for the local food bank to shut-ins or people who just need a little extra help.
Your interests may be well outside the short list I have just compiled. That’s great! Do what you can do, and what you are enthusiastic about. There is little that is as de-motivating as someone who is just going through the motions, while hating the activity. It cheapens the contribution and inspires no one.
Think about the ways you might be able to contribute to making the world a little better. How could you do something you enjoy, and help others at the same time? Some people are able to educate and amuse people, perhaps you have a similar talent. Come up with a list of three or four things you think you could do that would be enjoyable for you, and contribute to the happiness or well-being of others, either directly or indirectly.
Will you work alone, or will you join with an existing organization which already does some of the same things? Will your contribution be in the office, organizing things, or will you be on the front lines doing the actual work directly? Both are necessary and useful roles, but which is for you?
Find out more about the organizations with whom you might be associating. Make sure it’s a good fit, and then reach out to them and let them know what you are interested in doing to help them in their mission. They might not need that skill set, but might have other things they need someone to do, so keep an open mind and prepare to be flexible in how you contribute.
Get busy, the world isn’t going to get better on it’s own. It needs all the help it can get. No matter how small the contribution may seem to you, it helps in the long run. Do what you can, and leave the world a little better for your having been there.
From: Twitter, @ZahidaKhan
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/jimhenson402509.html
Photo by dpape
Happy Birthday to Jim Henson, born 24 September, 1936.