Monday, August 27, 2018

Smile, It's Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Make a Difference in the World

The great use of life is to spend it 
on something that will outlast it.
--- William James

There is so much suffering in the world already that there is no good reason to add any more of your own to the mix in the hopes of finding your passion.

Instead, spend enough time with someone who is suffering to understand at least some of what they are experiencing. You will become emotionally moved, which will impel you to work toward preventing their future suffering or the suffering of others from the same affliction.

You’ve already experienced this feeling of compassion many times. Recall when you watched a family member or friend experience devastating pain after they were emotionally hurt by another human being.

Think back to when you visited people living in poverty and made the profound realization that they aren’t any different from you.

Remember a time when you passed someone on the street, looked into their eyes, and saw through them to their suffering.

Recall those moments when you questioned why you are so fortunate and felt compelled to make the lives of others better in some concrete way.

You may have had one of these experiences and then forgotten about it and gone on with your life.

This week, slow your life down enough—through meditation, or having a relaxed conversation with a good friend, or going on a long walk under an iridescent sunset—to bring these pivotal moments back into your mind and your long-dormant passion will return.

Anthony Silard is the president of The Center for Social Leadership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week, enter your email here (1-step only). To support The Center for Social Leadership's Young Leaders Program for disadvantaged youth either directly or through purchases, click here.

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