Pick One

One of the topics that comes up during the Q&A after my talks is how to not get overwhelmed. Once you start feeling compassion for everyone on the planet, the challenge becomes how to not let all the bad stuff that is happening to all those people overwhelm you. Related to this is how to survive emotionally amongst all the requests for assistance. There are so many good causes to get involved with and they are all worthy and they all need help. How is a good person supposed to maintain balance in the face of it all?

My advice? Pick one. You can’t do it all, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing something. So pick something that matters to you and that you think you can make a difference in. It really doesn’t matter what it is. Just pick one, get involved and try to make things better in that one area. Not only will you be more effective if you focus your efforts, you will also be happier.

We all know intellectually that we can’t do everything at once and be everywhere simultaneously and that we shouldn’t even try to. The problem is convincing our hearts, which bleed with compassion. Just remind yourself that there are in fact people working on those other issues and their work frees you up to focus on the one issue you have picked, safe in the knowledge that those other issues are indeed being worked on.

If that doesn’t do the trick, I will absolve you of the sin of not being superhuman. There - now you have my official permission to pick one without feeling too much guilt. So go forth and help make your corner of the world a better place.

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