Deep breath in – and out.
I step forward, hesitant, but I choose to continue. One foot in front of the next, just a few steps and I’m here. It’s a familiar sight, painfully so. I squeeze my eyes shut for a moment, then tip my head down and open them.
I force myself to be present here, again. Standing at the edge, with a choice to make.
Have you ever been here before?
For me, it’s returning time and again to stare into a reality I don’t want to really believe: how what seems like another world is really the world I’m part of. That right here in my world, my neighbors drink water that makes them sick and neither of us think that’s ok. And standing at the edge of each pit of dirty water I’ve ever seen I’m reminded that this is not a faraway problem. I have a choice to make.
What is that edge for you?
Maybe you are standing at an edge, looking into a beyond and wondering, What will my future look like if I don’t take this amazing job or promotion, and chase my passion instead? or What if we choose to have children and the difficulties of this world cost them greatly? Or I fail at providing? Maybe your edge looks like preparing a future for your children, or staring into a giant pit of college loans and asking, How could I possibly ask for help tackling debt when I could just ignore it and live comfortably today, after all my friends are probably in the same boat? Perhaps for you its, Can I trust that the right person will come along instead of sacrificing who I am in the meantime?
If you’ve been following the story of Let Them LOL at all, you may have noticed the one thing we can count on: things will go wrong! We often run into major problems and we need to figure out how to plan (and re-plan). We have to zoom out and look at the whole problem head-on, to best assess our next move, asking:
- What’s needed? Some situations call for a triage of the circumstances to figure out where to start and how to prioritize.
- What’s most helpful? Lot’s of things are good, but not everything is helpful in every context. Learn to think beyond the immediate and your senses, try to set longer term goals, adjusting as needed along the way
- What’s wise? Mistakes can be forgiven but actions still have consequences. Try to think beyond what’s most self-satisfying (or immediate) and toward what’s best for people beyond yourself – when in doubt seek the help of trusted friends/leadership
Over the past ten years, a lot of things have brought us to difficult decision points. It can be easier to look away, or get caught up in the emotion, but standing at the edge and staring at the problem helps put things in perspective.
When I’ve stood at the edge of a pit of muddy water and seen fellow humans scooping it up to drink, the question within myself has shifted from How will I let this reality change my life? How much should I give? to Knowing what I know, what wouldn’t I give to build up my neighbor?
My choices since then ripple back to that question often, and I’m challenged at home, at work, and in daily life. When I close my eyes I’m often brought back to the edge of one of many muddy pits and reminded, there is much I can choose to give. Incredibly, I’ve come to learn in this day and age we don’t even need to stand at the edge of a dirty water pit to be empowered to impact our neighbor! We can start right now with what we know and what we have. Learning can be a powerful moment of change in and of itself. So don’t hesitate, take one small step (hypothetically…that is, toward hope…not necessarily over any edges. Stay safe, people, we need you in this fight)!
Every edge is really an opportunity to choose to continue toward hope. What change will you choose to empower?
– Katie (Graphic Designer & Storyteller with Let Them LOL)