Most ordinary people feel as if we have no power.
I’m not talking the “calm the wind and the waves” and “heal the blind” sort of power. Even the most delusional of earth’s mighty men and women know that they don’t have that.
What most ordinary people feel is that we have no power to make a difference, because we don’t possess outrageous amounts of money, and the ability to influence (or manipulate) people and circumstances that accompany those funds. But that attitude overlooks the power that every human being possesses, regardless of who we are, who our father was, and how many people scrape and bow as we walk by.
All of us have the power to choose how we will act: honestly or dishonestly, kindly or harshly, honorably or with cowardice. With a word or a tone, we have the ability to build up another human being, or tear them down to a point of devastation. We can judge, critique, slander, and demolish. Or we can withhold judgment, listen, encourage, and build up.
Every single day, throughout the day, we have the power to do this.
“Ah, but my words and actions don’t affect millions,” we say. “I’m just a nobody.”
First of all, nobody is a nobody.
And secondly, we really need to get away from this misconception that quantity matters so very, very much. The fear that our actions and thoughts mean so little prevents us from actively going out and doing good. But to the person to whom we show compassion, brotherly love, understanding (or if nothing more, the lack of malice), we have made a difference. These things build upon themselves.
The artwork, Where Angels Land, shows the heights we can reach when we’re willing to continuously put one foot in front of the other. One of the most popular trails in Zion National Park (where 4.5 million people visit a year), Angels Landing is difficult: five miles round trip, 1,500 elevation gain, 21 steep switchbacks at the end, and a 1,000 foot drop off at the spine.
Theoretically, a rich, powerful person could get there on a helicopter, but millions of ordinary people make it to the top, one small step at a time.
Every word, every action, every thought is a step — and every step takes us upward or downward, depending upon where we choose to place our feet.
That’s a power that we all possess.
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