Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. –Edmund Burk
I met a truly extraordinary woman this week. Her name is Lindsey.
Lindsey is one of those kinds of people who make you thankful that there are Lindseys in this world.
She is a mom of eight kids, all under the age of 14, including four special needs siblings she and her husband adopted several years ago. Lindsey is extraordinary because she is raising (and homeschooling) her eight kids and she has fostered other children as well. She also heads the Family Ministry at her church and spends her spare (!) time volunteering and leading several charitable endeavors, including serving on the board of 31:20, a remarkable organization dedicated to service and especially the plights of victims of human trafficking and orphans worldwide. She has taken missionary trips (some with her young children in tow) to countries saddled with desperation. Lindsey is a one-woman steam engine on course to make this world a better place.
Again, thank God for the Lindseys of this world.
Although she epitomizes how very very much one person can truly do, her call to action to the rest of us is something quite short of following in her large footsteps.
Just say yes.
That’s it. Just say yes.
When you hear of someone or something in need, just say yes.
Good works come in all kinds of sizes. Making a contribution doesn’t always require far-reaching measures. It doesn’t require us to cross oceans or sell our belongings or quit our jobs. It doesn’t require us to start charities or sacrifice all luxury. It doesn’t require us to stand on a soapbox or move a mountain.
Maybe not yet, maybe not ever. But that doesn’t mean we can’t say yes.
Saying yes means we simply turn to our neighbors, to our kids, to our schools, to our communities and find a small (even unnoticeable) need that hasn’t yet been met. Maybe a friend with a sick child needs some groceries. Maybe a teacher needs an extra set of hands for a few hours. Maybe a neighbor could use a dinner on her doorstep on a Wednesday. Maybe the mom in the minivan could use a free latte. Maybe a local animal shelter needs supplies or an hour to walk the dogs. Maybe a missionary in Nicaragua needs a few extra pairs of shoes to shove in a suitcase. Maybe a friend needs forgiveness. Maybe a senior citizen would love the newspaper read aloud to her or a ride to the doctor. Maybe we even let our kids tag along and teach them the value in spending time putting someone else’s needs above our own.
It is undeniable that we each have unique gifts and talents that we can use to make a contribution, a step in a better direction and the world filled with a little more love.
And for those of you who already do these generous acts every day, carry on.
And then do some more.
For kindness begets kindness. And compassion begets compassion. Every single time without fail.
Go ahead. Just say yes.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. -Aesop