From the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “It’s easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.” (Al Franken) Jack went on to write – It’s interesting to note that there’s an actual comedian in Congress. In this instance, Al’s humor makes sense. We can’t solve all the world’s problems, but we can do something about some of them. Foster-parenting is one. Collecting school clothing for needy kids is another. Are there people you know who are wearing slippers today?
An inverse or negative way to make the same statement might be – “It’s easier to put on a pair of boots than to clean up the mess that you’ve got to walk through.” Many people seem happy to just put on a pair of boots and wade through the mess, rather than working to clean things up. Still others would prefer to stand on one side and complain about the mess that is preventing them from progressing; again, rather than do anything to clean it up. Do you know people like that, too?
So, which are you? Do you put on your sippers and do what you can now, without waiting for the floor to be carpeted; for everything to be perfect? Do you avoid the work of cleaning things up by putting on a pair of boots and wading through the mess; or, do you grab a bucket and shovel or mop and start making things right?
What’s the common thread between those two views of the world? It’s taking action to do something, rather than finding excuses to wait and not act just because the conditions aren’t perfect. I’ve know people who spend inordinate amounts of time making excuses about why they aren’t doing something and what they have to wait for, rather than jumping in and helping or righting a wrong. They convince themselves and then try to convince those around them that they can’t take action until some other thing is corrected first. In their minds, the act of making the excuse is action and they claim to be ready to act, just as soon as the imagined obstacles in their way are removed. By the time that happens the job has been done or the need has passed, usually not with good results. Of course then they convince themselves that the need wasn’t really all that important in the first place.
So, today, put on your slippers, or get out your shovel, and starting doing something that needs to be done, rather than finding more excuses for doing nothing. Sure the world isn’t perfect and it won’t be no matter how long you wait, but someone will be happier in your little corner of the world because you reached out and helped or did what needed to be done. World hunger will not be solved; but some little, old lonely person will be happy tonight because you brought them a Meals –on-Wheels meal and stayed to chat for w few moments. Some at-risk child will go to bed tonight with a smile on his or her face because you took the time through Big Brothers or Big Sisters to reach out to them and help. Some soldier in a far off land will feel more connected to home because you took the time to write a note and send some treats.
You may not have solved the worlds issues with hunger and loneliness in the elderly or resolve the issues with at risk children or cause world peace and bring all of the soldier everywhere home; but your single act of caring or kindness made one little part of that bigger problem better, at least for today. And tonight, when you take your slippers off, you will feel a whole lot better about yourself.