“Every man has his use, even if only to gather dried cow dung in the Gobi for fuel.” —Genghis Khan
How often in life do we feel inadequate or un-necessary? Society has become a fish tank, everyone sees everything all the time. Don’t misunderstand me, there are many things about this that I am grateful for. I’m able to reach out to people across the world through social media and if I don’t see someone post for a few days I can reach out and check in. These are connections and moments for caring, compassion I wouldn’t have without the fish bowl.
But the constant comparison causes so many people so much pain. It’s hard to be in one position in life but see “everyone” in a better spot than you think you are. Sometimes I find myself sitting inside my bowl wishing I was swimming in the ocean with all the rest of the fish. This quote makes me realize the strength and power in staying in my fishbowl.
Maybe my spot in life right now isn’t exciting or glamorous. Maybe yours isn’t either but that doesn’t make it any less important. If no one in the Gobi desert took the time to pick up the dried cow piles for the fire everyone would be hungry and cold. One of the grossest and most menial tasks is in fact the both important. Maybe your role at work, school or at home feels tiny and pointless but I promise you that’s not the case.
Look at what you do each moment of each day and recognize the impact it’s having on those around you. Did you make coffee today? I bet that made someone’s morning a whole lot better. Did you listen to a coworker who’s having a hard time? You gave them the compassion and attention they may not get anywhere else.
Small acts have large effects. Revel in your fish bowl, pick up the cow pile, nothing you do is meaningless or un-important. You being you is a mighty powerful act. Everyone has their use. You are meeting the needs of others even if you can’t see it yet. Don’t stop, you are changing the world.
Sarah Deats is the Arizona Outpatient Support Services Manager at RI International and the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer. Her goals are to make a connection with everyone that she can while building community, spreading hope, and sparking change. She believes that while life may not be easy, it is never lived alone.