I’m reading a great book by Seth Godin called This Is Marketing. He’s brilliant in his field and what I like about the guy is he views marketing as an opportunity to share with a community something that may offer change in a positive way. He never endorses the concept of pushing content into people’s faces who haven’t enrolled for it. I respect that.
Something Seth mentioned in his book, which hit home for me, was that a person seeking to offer change in the world has assumed that they are the person responsible for that change. This got me thinking. Personally, I am driven by sadness. By pain and suffering. Sounds a little depressing - I know. But stay with me. I’m driven by the hope that there can be less pain, less suffering in the world. I’m driven by the genuine, and I don’t think unreasonable, belief that we can truly be better as human beings. That we can be kinder to ourselves, and in turn toward others.
If you know me, you know I’m crazy about animals (we have a Pug Yoga Party happening in the studio soon if that’s any indication of my love for animals) and it breaks my heart to see how people who are so selfish, angry and defeated in their own lives can choose to take that anger out on an animal. A creature that is totally vulnerable to us. Reliant on our decision to be kind, loving and nurturing, or not. They starve them, beat them, fail to get them proper medical care, breed them repeatedly before leaving them to die or palming them off to inappropriate shelters or homes. I’m dumbfounded by it. I’ve never understood the mentality of a person who thrives on the abuse of something (or someone) ‘weaker’ than themselves. It sickens me to my core. BUT I am hopeful that people can change. That people can genuinely learn another way. To find a way of loving themselves which will naturally translate into loving others, which of course includes animals and how animals are cared for.
I grew up with role models who always encouraged kindness and generosity wherever possible. My family has been affected by a number of tragedies over the years, but still we looked for the positive where we could. And so, whilst it is not my responsibility, per se, to try and change the world. To try and make everyone a kinder, happier, more forgiving and understanding person, why not give it a shot? Why not lead by example at the very least? For if I can have a positive influence on just one person, then how wonderful the ripple effect could potentially be.
Sitting with Owen last night, we were chatting about this very topic. I said to Owen, “Who am I to try and change the world? Who am I to think I have the capacity or influence to shape this world into a kinder place?” Owen simply replied with, “If we can leave this world slightly better than we came into it, then that’s a good thing. For if we all did that, then the world would get better every day.”