Girls were wearing mini-skirts. Mine were still to my knees. Even at age 11, some were into partying and wearing makeup. I had to grow fast. By the time I graduated high school, Billy Jean King had been outed by a former lover. 58,220 US soldiers had died in the Vietnam War. Riots in Chicago, the shootings at Kent State shootings, the summer of love and more occurred.
I became a very serious teenager determined to make a difference in the world. I did the 30 Mile Walk for Hunger, and did my best to stand in support of minorities that were being marginalized. Let's face it, that didn't help me fit in at regular high school groups. On one side were the normal high school groups from jocks to the marching band. On the other side were those in the SDS. I fell somewhere in the middle. Thank goodness for my three wonderful friends. They saved me.
Growing up in a time of so much social upheaval taught me the importance of being involved and standing tall. I admired all those who stepped onto the stage to speak, founded organizations, and stood in the front lines. All of us who cared deeply about those issues dreamed of being the one who figured out a way to create monumental change in a very public way. My lack of confidence and sheltered upbringing didn't prepare me in any way for that role.
Many with profound stories of injustices suffered and basic needs not met do not have a platform to speak from. That was something I could help with. Interviewing people and sharing their stories became my passion. After many years and hundreds of interviews, I began to also share from the wisdom I had accumulated. I realized this was not only my role, but one that fit who I was perfectly. I could now let go of the vision of who I thought I should be and move forward without distraction.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the strife in the world around you and your inability to make things better, perhaps you can consider a different tack. Try instead to do little bits of good every single day. Walk each day offering acceptance and support to those around you in need. Encourage others to join you. One by one, these small bits of good will come together, and that's when things start to get exciting.