Do you ever have that feeling like you could be doing more but you have no idea where to start or what to do?
Have you thought – oh if I just had more time. Or more money. We expect people like Ellen Degeneres to give. And Oprah. But what impact can we have? What can we do that is going to make any difference at all? The problems of this world seem so big and we're … well so insignificant in comparison. I am at least.
That’s a normal feeling. I liken it to being a single mom with 20 loads of laundry piled in a cramped room. It seems overwhelming. It’s easier to shut the door and pretend it's not there. Little Johnny can wear the same socks … they’re not that dirty. Right?
The thing is we are all unique. We all have something to give to this world. Yes, you! Me. The person in the other room. If we don’t give what we have. What we are born to give. The world misses out. Think about that. This world is missing out on YOU if you aren’t doing what you're supposed to do. We need you. The world needs you. Desperately. I need you.
I can't help but be inspired by the young people taking to the streets today in the #MarchForOurLives movement in the US. Leaders being born in front of our eyes. Young people who have chosen to take a tragedy and use it towards making the world a better place. They have found their voice. They are making a change...or will. I love watching them. But what about the rest of us? The armchair advocates. Those of us who like facebook posts and share videos. What can we do to help this crazy world in some way?
I met a woman after one of my performances in the BC Caribou. She shared a bit of her story with me. Our stories were quite similar up to the point where she attempted suicide. She actually died for a bit and was brought back to life by the doctors. She has worked hard to get past the traumas in her life that pushed her to take such drastic measures. But she didn’t stop there. She now quietly gives back. What I like to call QAK. Quiet Acts of Kindness. She visits women’s shelters throughout BC and hands out cards. Each card is handmade. Adorned with stickers and beautiful pictures. On each card is an inscription that is inspirational. “You have a chance to be as happy as any one person has ever been.” And so on. Each card and inscription unique. Then she inserts a CD of uplifting songs to help them get through the day. She signs each card by hand “With love from Ruth” and leaves them for women who are feeling their lowest. Without hope. She asked me if she could add a couple of my songs to her CD’s. I said yes of course. What an honour. She even bought my CD. I tried to give it to her but she wouldn't have it. "No!", She said. She was adamant. What a giving woman.
Ruth quietly hands out 100’s of these cards and CD’s every month. A beautiful act of kindness. It has become her life’s mission. To help women who feel like life is hopeless and give them hope. She’s not Ellen Degeneres. Nor Oprah. She’s an ordinary human being with limited funds that chooses to help others in this magnificent yet quiet way. She chose a subject that was near and dear to her heart and did something about it. I love that. She inspires me to no end.
When I first set out to record my album, Plush Red Chair, I was following a dream. That's it. When I began this blog I meant it to be about music. This is my music site after all. I had no idea that in following my dream I would discover a true purpose for my life. This blog (as you can tell) is rarely about music. I naturally gravitated to sharing this incredible journey I'm on. Its more important to me than selling an album. I want my music to touch people more than anything. I want to share my story as a story of hope. Its reach is limited though - because its a music site. I need to change that.
I am working on a new blog – “A Divalicious Life” which will launch soon. It’s going to be one way for me to give back. I’ll be telling my story in the hopes that it will inspire others to push past their fears. Get past their past and start to live their own version of A Divalicious Life.
What is your gift to give? What is the world missing out on from you? Is there something or a subject that is important to you? I encourage you to step out and do something. It doesn’t have to be flashy to be useful. It can be as simple as a homemade card.
If you'd like to know which songs of mine Ruth chose for her CD mix check out You Didn't Break Me and Shake the Dust here.