Changing the world one step at a time

Jared Schaaf discusses how taking small steps toward the greater good betters life.

Make sure if you have to run in life that you are running toward something and not away from something.
This is our one shot to do this right and in a real way we as young adults fail too much in realizing how fragile life can be and how important it is to really take daily life to heart.
As a university, Gannon likes to remind us that being a citizen of the world is core to our community values. But how often do we really put that into practice?
International citizenship is challenging; it means as developments happen in Syria, are we being in solidarity with our Syrian brothers and sisters or more concerned with the possibility of a U.S. incursion?
The focus needs to be taken away from what can we gain, into what we can give.
That’s why various different faiths fasted and prayed for peace. We have an obligation to each other to do better and to be better.
I think for a lot of us, we tend to run from the pressures in life.
Between school, jobs, parents, friends, lovers and the future, it’s easy to see why we run.
But an explanation is not an excuse.
Life is always going to be stressful; there’s unfortunately no way of avoiding that.
We deal with our stress and the chaos that exists by understanding that the only thing we can control in life is how we respond to the things we cannot control.
As things progress in the semester I think it is fair to say that we have to begin to notice more things as a community.
We have a responsibility to the cultures that surround us and to our own community.
A change from the heart has to come from the Gannon community into the world.
If we cannot change the way that the world feels, who will? We have to be the community that changes the world centered on “self” and to a world centered on love.
As a Catholic university, we also have to keep our eyes focused on the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. The Gospel preaches love, acceptance and equality; and if we want to better our community and our world, we have to take that message to heart.
The words of Christ cannot just be readings in a book, they have to be interpreted on a more tangible way that we put into practice in our daily life.
Whenever faith is the guiding ship of our daily decisions and future planning that foundation is solid; that does not mean it will be easy but it does mean that it is worth it.
We have a God that is more concerned about the poor than the economy, more concerned about us on a personal level than the big community.
Our God is love – and that love needs to be taken out into the world. That love needs to transform us and by our own personal transformation that love creates a better world.
The movement to change for the better individually and as a community must begin here. It doesn’t have any time left to wait around for the “right moment.”
That moment is now.
It could be by doing something as small as trying smiling at people everywhere you go.
Don’t just give them one of those half-smirk, head-nod gestures. Raise your eyebrows, show those teeth of yours and laugh while you smile.
Next time you’re walking on AJ’s Way, give a full-hearted smile to at least three complete strangers.
You’ll be amazed at what this does for them and for yourself, too.

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