This year I decided to forego the cold in the Midwest and spend the winter in Florida. Because I’m able to work remotely my decision was easy. Work in my home office wearing sweatpants and shivering or work in T-shirts and soak up the sun. A no-brainer for sure!
I’ve especially enjoyed the key deer, iguanas, herons, ibis, palm trees, banana trees, pineapples, and so many more that are prevalent here.
I’m fortunate to have fruit in our yard that’s not found back home in Missouri. Take for example the mangos. They’re the size of a golf ball now and are beginning to droop from the tree right next to our house. Somewhere between May and September, they’ll be ripe enough to eat.
I can’t help but think of the term “low-hanging fruit” when I look at these “drooping” mangos.
Usually, low-hanging fruit refers to business and is defined as “the obvious or easy things that can be most readily done or dealt with in achieving success or making progress toward a goal.”
I like to refer to it relationally and define it as “the obvious or easy things you can do, like being kind, open-minded, generous, thoughtful, helpful, honest, sincere, genuine, grace-filled and judgment-free, to achieve long-standing relationships with people who will stick by you through thick and thin and support you right up until the day I die.”
Find Your Cause
Not only is fostering deep and meaningful relationships crucial but finding out what’s important to you is too. I like to think of it as yet another form of low-hanging fruit.
The world needs a lot more love and understanding and a lot less dissension. A lot more unity and harmony and a lot less dog-eat-dog-what’s-in-it-for-me mentality.
When you can identify what you care deeply about, you will find your cause. It’s when you find your cause and then begin to do something about it then you start bettering the world.
The Power of One
One person is more than enough. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. History clearly shows that one person can make a difference in the world.
Let me give some examples of ordinary people who found a cause and did something about it.
- Maurice Hilleman: While you may not know his name, your life has likely been impacted by his work. He’s responsible for developing more than 40 vaccines! Hilleman’s work and dedication have saved millions of lives! He saw every disease as an opportunity to help people and, by the end of his career, he had permanently altered the medical landscape for the better. One man. One cause. One giant impact!
- Nils Bohlin: Nils Bohlin was a mechanical engineer from Sweden who invented the three-point seat belt. His invention has had an invaluable impact worldwide. Bohlin’s commitment to his cause will undoubtedly prevent countless deaths for decades to come. One man. Once cause. One giant impact.
- James Harrison: When Harrison was 14 he had surgery to remove one of his lungs. The doctors told him that he was able to survive the surgery due to the blood donations he received from many people. Harrison vowed that when he could donate he would. In doing so it was learned that Harrison’s blood carried unusual antibodies that helped in the treatment of a blood disorder called Rhesus (or Rh) disease, a disease that can be fatal for infants. Harrison is sometimes referred to as the “Man with Golden Arms” because his blood donations have helped save the lives of more than 2.4 million infants. One man. One cause. One giant impact.
- Frank Shankwitz: Frank Shankwitz was an Arizona Highway Patrol officer who, after helping a terminally ill boy realize his dream of becoming a motorcycle cop. Shankwitz went on to found the Make-A-Wish Foundation that same year. Shankwitz helped grow Make-A-Wish to an international organization with hundreds of thousands of wishes granted to children with critical illnesses. One man. One cause. One giant impact.
- Jeannette Rankin. Rankin was the first woman to hold national office in the United States. She also played a pivotal role in the development of the 19th Constitutional Amendment, which granted full voting rights to American women. One woman. One cause. One giant impact.
One person is not insignificant! One person can make a difference!
Believe in Something Bigger Than Yourself
Finding a cause and making a difference in the world begins with the belief that you can do something that doesn’t just benefit yourself. Removing your ego and releasing your need for attention is imperative!
You probably aren’t going to come up with a cure for cancer or solve worldwide hunger, but you can start with something you love and are passionate about and go from there.
Don’t adopt someone else’s cause because you think you should or feel obligated to. Find your own! And while you’re at it, don’t aim for impacting millions. Start small. Help one person and then another and then another and watch the impact that happens from there.
So…what cause do you feel passionate about? Social or racial injustice? Eradicating drunk driving and texting while driving? Orphans living in poverty (I’ve personally fallen in love with supporting missions in Haiti)? Climate change? International adoptions? Sex trafficking? Pet adoption? Litter along the highway? Pollution? Mental health?
Complaining achieves nothing. Be a voice. Inspire people to join you. Stop talking and start doing? One person. One cause. One impact.
Drop me a note and tell me about a cause you’re involved with or one that you’re interested in. Let me know how this passion was ignited and what impact on the world you hope to have.