I honestly couldn't tell you what I wished for when I blew out my candles Friday night. What do I ever wish for? General good feelings and happiness? World peace?
Of course I want world peace. Who doesn't? I know it seems like a bit of a pipe dream right now, especially as I'm realizing that my generation has spent their lives in a world where America is at war, even if we aren't that affected by it here in the states.
Even so, who doesn't want world peace? Who doesn't ultimately wish that the injustices of the world would end and we'd all get along?
I seriously doubt there are many people in the world who don't want peace... There are just those who think its possible now and those who don't think it'll be possible as long as people exist who are different from them. (I know reasons for war are far more complicated than "people are different from us and we don't like it", but usually that seems to factor in to some degree).
When I was little, my mom always said "if a bunch of white girls can't get along, how are we ever going to have world peace?" I always thought it was funny, but true: if a bunch of white girls from upper-middle class neighborhoods in Washington State can't reconcile their differences and love each other in spite of / because of them, how can we ever hope that male and female, rich and poor, everyone in the middle, people from different states and different countries with completely different cultural backgrounds... if a bunch of white girls can't get along, how can we hope that anyone else will?
Ultimately, this was my mom's version of that quote "be the change you want to see in the world". It was her concrete way of reminding me that my actions and the actions of my peers do affect the grander scheme of things - that the way I treat the people around me has a larger impact in the world. If I can't love other white girls, it'll be that much harder to learn to love Asian girls, or Black girls.
I've always tried to take these words to heart. I've always tried to love the people around me, to seek our similarities and learn about and appreciate our differences. And now that my birthday has come and gone again, and I'm reflecting on the past year, I'm realizing that I once again need to remind myself why I want to go into the world with an aim to love people, to build them up, to live for the greater good of each individual and for all individuals.
Today is Blog Action Day - a day when bloggers everywhere post on a single topic. This year, the topic is "The Power of We".
I believe that we can make a difference, if only by trying to have a more positive, loving attitude towards those around us.
Is anyone with me?