From Find Your Moment of Obligation by Lara Galinsky
With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things. — William Wordsworth
Be The Change:
Be on the (look out) alert this week for an experience that teaches you more about who you are…
We’ve all been deeply moved by problems in the world. We see that something isn’t right, that a community deserves better, or a social injustice needs to be corrected. It could be that something terrible — or even something wonderful — happens to us or someone we know. Perhaps we witness an injustice. Perhaps we simply read an article about one, but something about it moves us as powerfully as if we were the one who wrote it.
Unfortunately, many of us are not prepared to recognize these moments for what they are. As a result, we let them pass by. We chalk them up to emotional experiences or brief blips of inspiration and move on with our daily routine. And we lose out on creating meaningful careers and lives.
Here are a few tips for recognizing your own moments of obligation.
They’re strong. You can recognize the moment by the intense feelings it invokes. The moment itself doesn’t necessarily need to be dramatic, but what it brings up in you is.
They keep showing up. Sometimes, the experiences will reoccur. You’ll notice an issue again and again. Patterns will emerge and you will see that, for whatever reason, you are drawn to delve deeper into this particular issue.
They’re personal. The moments are very often personally meaningful. They are connected to your own experiences, or the experiences of people you care most about, the way in which Socheata’s moment of obligation was.
They take hold. Finally, they just won’t let you go. They scream for your attention, creeping into your mind when you are minding your own business — sitting on the couch, watching TV, or trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Everyone is moved this way from time to time, but what sets those who help solve the world’s biggest problems apart is the decision to turn that feeling into action. They say, “Someone has to take responsibility for this problem. And that someone is me.”