As we commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and reflect on his lasting legacy, we should ask ourselves what each of us can do to make a difference in our world. Most of us have a cause we feel strongly about. Why is it, then, that many of us don’t do what is within our power to give more, to do more?
Often, we do not give enough of ourselves because we feel our efforts won’t make a substantial impact. Take for instance the problems of homelessness, poverty, racism, animal cruelty, AIDS, and elder abuse. Instead of asking yourself what you can do to make a small difference, you may be focusing on how large in scope and magnitude the problem is, making the problem appear overwhelming. This will stifle your passion and discourage your efforts to be part of the solution. Instead of focusing on doing great things, you should concentrate on doing little things great. No matter what you can give, whether it is a few dollars or a few hours of your time, realize that your contributions are meaningful. Accept that you alone will not prevent all suffering, cure all diseases, or right all wrongs. Adopting such an attitude will allow you to be your best self and, in turn, motivate you to be even more giving of yourself.