Big dreams. I have always had big dreams.
Ambitious little Theresa dreamed about doing something big and powerful that would leave an impact on the world. I didn’t know if it would be a book or a painting or some revolutionary speaking engagement that would stop people in their tracks, but I knew that I wanted to do something.
The older I get, the more simplified this idea of big dream becomes. It’s not that I find myself seeking more realistic goals or becoming mature enough to realize that my imaginings of rousing success probably won’t pan out the way I intended.
Rather, it’s that my understanding of what constitutes big and powerful becomes more and more illuminated by the truth of what really is big and powerful:
That ordinary, simple, everyday actions can be so infused with love that they impart and communicate the deepest type of love to those around us.
Because, while I’ve had visions of grandeur that reaches thousands of people, I find that the most essential thing I can do to change the world is to change me, and thus the people around me, in my most precious and small circle of influence. Whether it be a coworker or friend or acquaintance or whoever: to act in love and sincerity changes the world. Love changes.
It changes the world in small bits and pieces. With a smile. With a sacrifice. With the denial of self indulgence. With self care. With giving and receiving gracefully, with working hard, with having courage. It changes with kissing toddlers, a word of encouragement, a simple “thank you” from a student.
Mother Teresa said:
“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”
If you want to change the world, harness the fire of your lofty aims and simply but oh so authentically love the persons right in front of you and beside you. Maybe just then you will see the joy of fulfillment that your visions sought all along.