I recently saw the trailer for Raya and the Last Dragon. Being a Disney film, sure, I'll probably end up seeing it and it looks like it might be a good movie. But the trailer brought up a growing concern in our cultural mindset. We like to say that there is something off and one person must go on a grand adventure and perform one great task that will fix it all. But is that really how our actions work and is that really how healing change comes to the world?
Now I understand that there are such things as fiction and archetypes and symbolism and applicability. The Lord of the Rings and Frodo's great quest to destroy the Ring is one of my favorite books. So I'm not complaining that individual stories would contain the concept of one act to fix the world. (And anyways, isn't one act on the cross what healed the world? Not that Frodo is a Christ-like figure--that would be more Aragorn. Tangents.)
I simply want to comment that most of the time it is not "great deeds" that heal the hurt and light up the world. Most of us have small spheres of influence--and that's okay. Each of us works positively in our own little spheres, and when the little spheres connect, they will be light meeting light instead of hurt or hate meeting hurt or hate. If you feel called to activism, go ahead. But if you simply feel the value of every little interaction in your daily life, that is just as good because that matters, too. Indeed, all the aims of activism will fail if all the people are not living daily lives with significance.
I say this as much to myself as to anyone else. What is my sphere of influence? I suppose my family, my neighbors, my church, this blog, and anyone I come across at the store or doctor's offices. Sometimes I walk through the world thinking I'm invisible, that no one can see me. But people can see me, so what impression do I want to leave? It makes a difference, it does.
There's a song for that, the aptly-titled "That's How You Change the World" from the Newsboys. Just a little something to contemplate this Thanksgiving: every moment matters, and it is the small and daily moments that add together to create a unified and healed whole.
For life, we give thanks.