If you could change one thing to improve the world, would you focus on everybody else’s problems? Or would you look in the mirror?
The late philosopher G.K. Chesterton once received a letter from a man who asked, “What is wrong with the world?” The man expected to receive a brilliantly articulated reply. Instead, Chesterton wrote back and said, “Dear, sir. What is wrong with the world? I am.”
Chesterton understood that even if everything else in the world was perfect, he wasn’t. He was inflicted with a selfish nature that distracted him from what was good and right. And so are we. Deep down, we all want to make our own rules.
Self-centeredness works when we’re the only one in the room. It becomes a nightmare when we’re married, have children, or want to get along with people in our neighborhood. Selfishness not only robs us of a better life, but everyone around us as well.
Fortunately, while it’s true that you and I are what’s wrong with the world, we are also what’s right. We each corrupt the world with our brokenness, but God infuses the world with new life through our talent, our skill, and our capacity to live lives rooted in faith, love, and sacrifice.
To improve the world, our primary focus must be what’s happening within our hearts more so than everybody else’s. We must look beyond our own desires and become as passionate about doing good for others as we are about doing good for ourselves.