Adjusting My Lens

friendship-braceletsI can’t deliver a swift ass-kicking to Mubarak, save all those children and spread a blanket of calm and peace over Egypt.

I can’t reverse the path of the Cat 5 cyclone currently heading for Australia.

I can’t warm up the temps, or remove all the snow from the Midwest.

I can’t save Polar Bears or Fringed Campion or Bog Turtles or Ocelots from complete extinction.

I can’t resolve the argument over baby-wearing or convince everyone that breast feeding is best.

I can’t make my garage door work reliably in sub-zero temps.

I can’t fix Mark.



I can teach my daughter how to crochet friendship bracelets.

I can train my cat to stay off the dining room table.

I can keep the wood stove burning and keep the nest cozy for my kids.

I can teach my kids math and history, a love of reading, and how to remember who is collecting which cards in Screwie Louie.

I can re-train my brain to find the happier grooves, and hit play.

I can hit pause when my brain tends to like to land on the sad grooves.

I can show Jenny and Will what it takes to be a good friend, by teaching them how to email or address an envelope.

I can show my kids how to save their money for stuff they really want, instead of wasting it on Hubba Bubba and Mountain Dew.

I can have a hot meal on the table when Will comes home from skiing with his dad.

I can show Jen and Will how to listen to each other, acknowledge feelings and then tease and laugh and move on without sinking into a funk.



As much as I care about others, and about what is going on in the rest of the world, I can’t do anything to help.

I can focus on my own little world and make a difference here.


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  1. This is a lesson many people never learn. It is an important one, and you articulate and embody it beautifully!

  2. Susan,

    Thanks for that.

    I often wonder what the spillover would be if we all addressed the mess in our own backyards. Kinda boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

  3. It is said, by people much wiser than myself, that the only way the outside world will change is when we heal our inner landscape.

    I guess you get to define what that means for you.

  4. I think you are right. and wrong. I love controversy. (heh). Because in doing what you do with the things you CAN, you are sending some ripples. Maybe not obvious in Egypt or Australia or the schoolyard, but ripples none-the-less. This is not to blow smoke up the keester and do the pollyanna song and dance that can get so old — but in the simple and clear ways we live and share and guide our children we are making a difference. Nothing happens in a split second to cause change – it’s a life process.

    Loved this post.

    Thank you.

  5. Donna,

    Beginning at home seems more attainable. Then I can work out from here.

  6. Peggie,

    I am a HUGE fan of the Pollyanna song and dance.

    I think you and I are on the same page. It has to begin within and at home – from there the schoolyard, the office and beyond.

    If the world’s leaders’ parents had done their jobs, what state would the world be in right now?

    Loved your comment.

    Thank YOU. :)

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