In the 3rd grade, my beloved, very British school teacher introduced the class to the storybook, Miss Rumphius.
I immediately became enamored with the story of “The Lupine Lady” and in fact, Miss Rumphius will forever remain my favorite picture book. Not only is it beautifully written and illustrated, but the message woven into the story is one that every child should hear – that no matter what you accomplish or where you go in life, you must do something to make the world a more beautiful place.
The message within the story resonated so much with me that I went home contemplating what I could do, at the tender age of 8, to make the world a more beautiful place. In fact, this children’s book was such an inspiration that I’ve long since taken its message as a personal motto of sorts. If there is one thing I want to do in my life, it’s to make the world a more beautiful place. The tricky part is (just as it was for Miss Alice Rumphius) finding out what will make the world a more beautiful place.
For as long as I can remember I have said that my dream, my heart’s desire, my passion was to make a difference in the world – to make a difference in the lives of people – to help people, to teach people, to give them a hand up. Perhaps I do this to a small extent as a teacher, and to a miniscule extent as a writer, but the catch is this: Am I doing enough? Part of the dream is to have a big impact, to make a big difference, to offer substantial help and hope to hurting people. And if that’s part of the dream then… I know I’m not doing enough.
Nothing in life gives me more pleasure than helping others – whether it’s packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child or making donations to the Salvation Army, or offering love and support to a hurting child, or giving words of encouragement to those who need to hear it. But the thing is… I always want to do… more. I want to help more, I want to give more – and the problem is, I don’t know how. Short of whipping out my imaginary bottomless checkbook or volunteering copious amounts of time and energy I don’t have… how does one do more?
Maybe that’s not the point. Maybe the point isn’t to do more… but just to do what you can. But if that’s the point, then why can’t I shake the feeling that I have more to do and more to give? How does one make the world a more beautiful place on a wider scale?
“You must do something to make the world more beautiful…”
But I do not yet know what that can be.