Most change agents out there are dreamers at heart. We dream the kinds of dreams that you can only dream when awake, and most of these dreams have one central theme: tomorrow can be better than today.
It was Robert Kennedy who first put into words what most of us dreamers think about each day when he so appropriately said that we think about things that aren’t and ask, “Why not?” And whether we’re dreaming of a day when genocide ends or a day when people no longer go hungry in America, we can’t help but think that tomorrow will be a better day, one full of possibility and hope, one that is a future worth working for.
But here’s the downside of dreaming: When we spend so much time thinking about tomorrow, it’s very tempting to say that we’ll get around to it…tomorrow.
Before we know it, tomorrow’s today. And then we keep dreaming of a better tomorrow and put off the real work it’s going to take until – you guessed it – tomorrow.
Maybe this is why real change takes so long. Maybe this is why productive and meaningful advances seem to happen at a snail’s pace. It’s because so much of what gets talked about and dreamed up has to wait.
Until tomorrow. Maybe then change we’ll be convenient. Because it’s super inconvenient and so damn hard today.
So what’s a dreamer to do? How can we look favorably upon tomorrow while reminding ourselves that we’ve got to act today?
For me, it’s wrapped up in a simple five-word phrase: “Today is a new day.”
Before Starbucks put that message on its front doors, our friend Jen Lemen did so in colorful artwork. And for Jen (and us), what follows on that poster is a friendly kick in the stomach. Yes, today is a new day – but it will be just like yesterday if we don’t get busy changing things.
If we don’t embrace kindness.
Or practice compassion, stand up for justice or talk to strangers.
If we don’t ask for help and offer hope.
If we don’t listen with our whole heart, work for the common good or love well.
Everything will stay the same if we don’t try and be the change we wish to see in the world.
So, folks, we’ve got to get busy. Today. Now. Like, right now.
Change is inconvenient because it demands we act today. If we want a cathedral of better tomorrows, her foundation must be laid today.
AUTHOR BIO: Sam Davidson, aside from being the man kind enough to be giving away free copies of his book New Day Revolution to all of those involved in the Inconvenience of Change series, is the founder and CEO of Cool People Care. Sam epitomizes what it means to be a social entrepreneur – serving the added bottom line of giving back to community efforts and raising awareness daily. It’s an honor and a privilege to have him as a contributor here and more importantly, to have as a friend.