Do you know how to change the world?
This question stems from the inexplicable violence that keeps radiating the United States.
As an American living outside of the U.S. you find yourself perpetually answering for the sins of the entire country. (You can imagine the conversations after Trump was elected!)
It comes as no surprise then, that I am bombarded by questions after each mass shooting. This onslaught is difficult to face, yet when I find myself thinking about the question, ‘How do we change this?’ I always arrive at the same conclusion.
My life mantra that I keep in the depths of my heart wherever I go is Saint Mother Theresa’s, ‘If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.’ (which I interpret to mean, wholly Love the people around you wherever you are).
This philosophy is something I imperfectly role-model and preach in my classroom, daily. It’s something that I strive for within my own family. Wherever I am, I hope and strive to be Love.
But not just any Love, I aspire to be Christ to others. Now, I must admit I’m rather good at failing fantastically most days…but I don’t give up hope! I know that God has called me to lead others in His unconditional Love.
He has placed all of us exactly where He needs us. To Love radically and ‘unnaturally’–seriously! ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’ is difficult–it’s not natural, but in order to change our world, it’s necessary.
My students often ask me, ‘Don’t you feel hopeless?…I mean seriously, one person can never change the world.’
It’s true, we might not all impact others on a mass scale, or in the public eye, but we can change our day to day actions. Love purposefully (put energy into it!), without worry and choose compassion.
It’s difficult. But what I love about the Catholic faith is that it is universal. Wherever you are, the rest of the world is with you. We’re uttering the same prayers, we’re grieving with you, we’re celebrating with you–we’re all carrying each other’s crosses…How great is our God?
So, if you feel called to change the world? ‘Go home and love your family!’