What Can I Do?
By Paul Hayden
September 11, 2023
My article for this week. Let me know what you think!
Many thoughts come up on this anniversary (9/11). We want to get along, we want to trust our "government." It feels less and less like we can trust almost anyone. The world is a mess right now, but there is still a lot of good left, and God is still very alive and well. You never know whose life you might touch and help!
At every turn in this life, we are faced with this question. WHAT CAN I DO?
Sometimes we feel like there's nothing we can do, when the problem is too big, or the energy just isn't there, or when too many things are crashing down at once.
If you will reflect with me about this, you can see that there are a number of different ways you can ask this question. It depends on where you put the em-PHA-sis! I can still hear what my mom would say when someone would get their priorities out of whack.
“You're putting the em-PHA-sis on the wrong syl-LA-ble!” (Say it out loud and you'll hear it!)
Ask yourself the question in these different ways.
WHAT can I do?
That depends on the problem or situation you are facing. Work on seeing the problem for what it is, how urgent it is, what your resources are, and make a plan.
What CAN I do?
What are your capabilities? If there's nothing you can do, you must accept that. But you have to take stock of your abilities and knowledge - and then do what you can. That's the best you got!
What can I do?
We all face the feeling of inadequacy sooner or later, and sometimes a lot. It's just me, one person, what difference will it make? Heck with it - it won't matter to anyone. But wait. Maybe there is something you can do, instead of doing nothing. I have found that there is almost always something you can do. Look for it. If you don't try to make it better, who will? And what if they don't?
What can I DO?
Sometimes there is nothing you can do. You just stand there helpless, nothing to say, doing nothing. But almost always, you can DO something. A great man in my life made the point that you can't steer a parked car. Just get it moving, and you will find it easier to steer it in the right direction. Do what you know to do.
They say the hard part is getting started, so if you at least get started, the hard part is over! If you do something, then at least you have done something.
A big part of the human spirit is the determination to just do it. Go for it! We need one another, for sure. But we each can do whatever we can for ourselves, in a mindset of being independent by not overly depending on others. We used to call it “growing up.” It's what parenting in its best applications does for kids, in teaching them not to be dependent on their parents, getting out and fending for themselves and making their own lives. Hopefully, they will pass the same thing on to their kids, and so on.
It's so easy to just give up, or get lazy, or find yourself becoming dependent on others. And there goes any sense of accomplishment or satisfaction that comes in doing whatever you can for yourself, and also for others. There are times when we must depend on others, like as kids, or at the other end, as dependent old folks, or if a serious life issue arises that can at any time in our lives. But that's when we who are stronger and able become the "others" on whom those with needs can depend.
Look around yourself all the time. Ask yourself - WHAT CAN I DO?
Till next week. Blessings, always. Paul Hayden
Paul Hayden is a Christian believer, and an American patriot, necessarily in that order. He is a student of the Bible, and is avidly interested in our role in the context of history, as understood through the heart and eyes of faith. Paul has lived and traveled somewhat widely, and now lives in the heartland of the U.S. (central Illinois), with his wife Donna - they have five grown children. Since December of 2016, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief of www.ConservativeTruth.org.
"I was raised by a Christian minister, Kenneth Hayden, until his death when I was 10. Then my mom married a farmer. So I was raised in a very down-to-earth home. My faith has grown through the years, but both in conjunction with the institutional church and through small groups and individuals, including books as well as group settings, where deep, sincere faith is shared that aligns with Biblical truth."