During Easter weekend, while I was listening to the traffic reports of snarl ups and reading the comments on Facebook about “bloody Aucklanders” coming up here causing the roads to be chaotic, it occurred to me that we do spend an awful amount of time worrying about things we have no control over. It was over this noisy Easter weekend backdrop, I also learned of the passing of two people I knew. One was a lovely lady who had been a volunteer at the Warkworth Information Centre, and the other a larger-than-life character who I knew through Toastmasters and the Warkworth Great Debate in past years.
The news of their passing helped put things into perspective for me. For the families of both lost loved ones, their lives have been abruptly changed and will never be the same. For them, trying to understand the why and the how to from here, while coping with the grief, will be their focus right now and all the other day-to-day noise of life will fade into the background.
This reality check doesn’t mean that we should stop working to solve the issues that affect our daily lives such as traffic and infrastructure, of course. As a business association we are committed to advocating for workable developments in infrastructure that will benefit economic growth in the area and build a strong community.
Reflecting over the Easter weekend, I was reminded again that in this life there are things we can change and there are things we can’t. Should our time be spent on the things we can’t change, or is it time we shifted our focus to the things we can? What if that small thing was getting more involved in your community, taking a role in the PTA, or joining Lions or Rotary Club? These community organisations desperately need new members, especially an infusion of younger people who want to serve their community. Joining a local club to volunteer is a great way to help enable change, support community, and make new friends along the way.
Perhaps another small act we can do is keep choosing to support our local businesses. From retail to hospitality, to tradesman or accountant, choosing to use local is an action that supports the local economy and is worth investing in. Each day we get to make a choice. Do we sweat the small stuff, or do we really try to make a difference in any small way we can? All we really need to ask ourselves today is: what can I do to help?
I lost a good friend this week and my heart hurts for his family and all his friends. But he was a man who made the choice to try to make a difference. I want to be like him, so if you see me sweating the small stuff, feel free to remind me that making a difference matters. And to make a difference all I have to do is look for where I can contribute and let go of the rest.