Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Laundry vs. World Peace


As I exercised my right - my privilege -  to vote today, I thought about our leaders and the responsibilities that they hold.  Serving the people, protecting our rights, changing the world for the better.  Isn't that what they are supposed to do?  These are important, noble, lofty goals.  These are goals that can make a difference in the world.

I then remembered a news segment I watched on TV that included an interview with First Lady, Michelle Obama.  In this segment, she was giving the journalist a tour of the White House.  As they strolled through the decorated hallways, she was asked, "Do you find The Presidency and living in the White House stressful on your family?"  Her answer surprised me.  Her response was, "No."  She explained that so many of the things that cause us stress in our normal life are now being taken care of for her.  Somebody else does the family's laundry.  Somebody else cooks the meals.  When The President is in town, he joins them for dinner at 6PM.  He might work more after dinner, but it's a short commute to the Oval Office!  Big, world changing events, she remarked,  don't necessarily penetrate her family's walls.

It made me think.  Do we sell ourselves short?   Who is really changing the world?  Isn't the chef changing the world by creating a satisfying meal?  Isn't the laundry lady changing the world by helping someone present their best image of themselves?  Perhaps we overlook the importance of the mundane elements in our lives.  A warm smile encourages a child.  A delicious meal helps homework digest just a little bit more easily.  Clean sheets make dreams smell just a little bit sweeter.

So, while finishing the mountains of laundry might just be as monumental a task as attaining world peace, perhaps we can change our world for the better - one cupcake at a time.  

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