If it doesn’t break your heart, it isn’t love

Is there anything that has really tugged at your heartstrings recently, that made you want to step out and do something a little brave? What did you end up doing?

Today I had one of those moments. I was reading a Facebook post that someone from my city had posted on a local page, about an elderly man whose fence keeps getting vandalized. In the comments section, dozens of people were offering to help to get the fence fixed, including some businesses (one who had started a gofundme page) and even a student (from my old high school, nonetheless!) who said they would find out tomorrow if their school’s woodworking students could get involved. All of this happened within the four hours since the story was originally posted, and the man probably has no idea since he seems to have nothing to do with the original post.

And it just hit me that these are the kinds of things that can make everyday life meaningful. Sometimes I get so caught up in the big picture–the fact that millions of people around the world are hungry and lonely and homeless, for one–that I forget that so much can be done here and now.

After reading things like this, my heart can begin to ache for the people in my own community, people I might walk by on the streets, who for whatever reason are not experiencing peace within themselves. And I can feel this burden, like I should do something to reach out.

Isn’t that what leads to the creation of things like the Free Hugs movement? Last week at work, one of my coworkers was wearing a shirt that said “Free Shrugs” and you know, I think that that works too–humour can be pretty powerful! There are so many ways that we can impact others, through actions big and small.

At the university I recently graduated from, there was a student that you could find on any given day holding a door to one of the buildings while singing to whatever music he was listening to. (He was in some of my Sociology classes actually, which makes sense to me because Sociology students can be pretty quirky :p). The amount of joy one guy can bring to others is quite amazing, really. And perhaps the biggest difference between him and some others is his drive–his commitment to just do it.

One of my favourite song lyrics comes from “Yet” by Switchfoot, which goes, “if it doesn’t break your heart, it isn’t love / if it doesn’t break your heart, it’s not enough.” This always makes me think about how much time we spend doing things just because we have to or because we think we have nothing better to do. But we’re all capable of more, I just know it.

Going back to my time at university again, I remember on my first day I went to an assembly for new students in which Craig Kielburger spoke. Of the many great things he said, I recall that he gave an equation–which I could just now only vaguely remember, so admittedly I had to Google it… anyways, it goes like this:

spark + gift = better world

Pretty simple, but profound. For me today, the spark was that Facebook post, and I decided to use my ‘gift’ for writing to share this with you here… it’s only one little act, but it’s what I’ve got to give right now. Tomorrow, let there be some other spark for you and I both.

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