Just do the next thing

I've sat with many people in my office over the past several months who feel totally paralyzed and overwhelmed with the evil in the world that we are faced with daily.  And to be honest, it is in fact overwhelming, heart-wrenching, despairingly sad, and terrifying.  From the most recent events of Las Vegas, here in New York City and now in a small town in Texas, we are pummeled with the realization that evil is real, it cannot be predicted, and it effects everyone. 

And yet, we still have a choice.  A choice to do the next thing. 

That thing may be to get out of bed and make a cup of coffee.  It may be to call or email a friend or relative that you haven't spoken to in a while.  It could be cleaning out a closet of things that don't matter and holding on to the things that do.  Doing the next thing is showing kindness to a stranger, saying thank you when someone stops to hold the door for you, or even looking at the cashier in the eyes and wishing them a good day.  All of these actions may seem small in comparison to the big events we hear on the news. 

But they matter.  They matter a great deal. 

And they push against the paralysis that evil can seem to cause.  Often it is our actions that tell our hearts, "we can do this"....and not the other way around.  If we wait until we feel strong and courageous in the face of the darkness, we may be waiting for a long time.  But while we may not stop the violence, change the political structure, or discover a cure, we CAN just do the next thing.

Just do the next thing.  It matters.