As I mentioned yesterday, I just finished “The Moment of Lift” by Melinda Gates.
It is so good. She chronicles her journey to “see” the world as individuals, and to empower women. To discover how she could share her voice. And share herself. I love that she said, “we change the culture by sharing our stories.” It made me think how important our stories are. All of us together with differing views and opinions. We all have something to give, and so much to gain by being open and trying to understand one another…(one of the reasons I love writing here…and learning from so many, those who agree with me and those who don’t. Sometimes it’s hard to open myself up with thoughts that others definitely disagree with, but boy I learn a lot!)
These are jumbled thoughts, but I want to have them here to refer to…these are the quotes I stopped to make note of as I listened (Melinda Gates reads on audible and I loved that):
I love that she quoted Brene Brown who said “The original definition of courage is to let ourselves be seen.”
“There is a big difference between a loud voice and a strong voice.”
“To bring about a revolution of the heart you have to let your heart break.”
“Jesus’ ability to absorb pain was beyond others ability to inflict it. He was strong enough to absorb their pain without lashing out. This is true love.”
The best mode for all social movements: “Answer hatred with absorption and love.”
“If you can’t bear the pain of your neighbor’s suffering then one way or another you are going to push them to the margins.” (so beautifully correlates with mourning with those who mourn, comforting those who stand in need of comfort).
“We have to see biases before we can end them.”
“The supreme goal for humanity is not equality, but connection…the goal is to belong.“
“Love is what makes us one. It ends the urge to push one another out.”
“When we see ourselves in others, that is the ‘moment of lift’.”
This book made me want to RUN. There is so much good to do in the world! Our family motto growing up was “Broaden & Contribute.” How do we contribute more? How do we reach out in our own unique ways? Often I think I get in a rut that there is one answer for this “reaching out,” and I search and I read and I ponder to find that “path” that I should be on. But I have realized over the years that there are all kinds of answers. Not one “right” one. We just have to have the courage to take steps from where we are.
So I love that my sister-in-law sent this podcast for one of our sister’s podcast Zoom gatherings (yes, we’re still doing that…wrote about it back HERE):
You can find it HERE and I think that link will take you to minute 42, but I’d even skip to minute 46:50 which is where the meat really started for me. So much to think about and maybe some who aren’t of my same faith won’t really relate, but my favorite part was that she talks about how it doesn’t really matter which steps you take, the point is that you take them at all. Start somewhere.
“The world is complex, there are problems, and YOU have the ability to solve them. You’re going to make mistakes, some things don’t work out…you learn things along the way.” Stop looking for someone to tell you how to do it, you just DO it, and you will find your way. Don’t wait for God to outline it for you. He will always be there, but we have free-agency, we are in charge of taking those steps and moving forward.
So, like these wise women, I’m trying to be more deliberate in how I take steps to reach out and contribute. Most of those steps are small and maybe seemingly meaningless to others, stopping to read with Lucy, stopping long enough to look into Claire’s eyes and “see” her, putting Dave as more of a priority, calling that one friend I’ve been worried about. There are other “bigger” things too that I am working on, excited about and trying to muddle through that someday I will look back and see that all my little steps have led to.
But I think what’s most important is to continue taking those steps forward. The older I get the more I’ve learned that the little things are really the big things, each one with it’s own “moment of lift.”