Realising that your problems are smaller than they seem
Wake up, do your thing, go to bed and repeat. It is so easy to just get on with your everyday life and forget that there is a vast world that exists far beyond the boundaries of your own. Let me pre-empt this all by saying: this is completely normal.
I admit, I am guilty of living this way far too often. I get overwhelmed, upset and side-tracked by my own, often inconsequential, problems; yet at the time, they seem like the biggest thing in the world to me. Be it losing my driving license, working 100-hour weeks or having my favourite coffee shop run out of the cinnamon roll I was craving, these things just tick me off. Sure, it means that for a week or two I’m exhausted and somewhat forced to use my “free time” to catch up on sleep rather than with friends. It means I choose the maple pecan scone instead of the cinnamon roll. It means I must spend five extra minutes and £20 to replace the license. But then, I stop and step back. What does this all matter? These are genuinely “first world problems” as they are often called these days, and they are just that.
No doubt, I am entitled to have emotional reactions to these things. But in all this, I am also obliged to remember that these are the problems of my tiny little world. What about all the others that exist outside my bubble? And this is where the realisation kicks in. Getting involved with BfE has helped me constantly remember to see my own life in perspective. Working and interacting with both social entrepreneurs and like- minded people across the globe has allowed me to expand my horizons and open my eyes to the world outside my own. A common feeling among BfE team members is that of conflict between the corporate world and social impact. There is a conflict between helping others and helping ourselves; between our own issues and those that face the rest of the world.
BfE allows me to address this conflict in two ways. For me, the simple act of recognising that many of our everyday problems are minute compared to the real problems that this world faces is the most important. Secondly, it helps me to recognise that we each have a role to play and that collectively, we DO have the power to create lasting change.
I hope that this article is not interpreted as a condemnation of our everyday lives and cares. By no means am I undermining the issues that we face daily, nor am I judging anyone for placing importance on their own troubles, no matter how big or small. These things affect me too. I just hope to continue to remind myself that I have the capability to affect change that impacts the lives of other people and that many other people across the globe face far greater challenges than I do. And through BfE, I hope to plant this seed of thought in the minds of others and continue to work with the incredible group of people to spark change and progress towards a better world.