Perspective: so easy to lose, so important to keep in mind. Here are three reality checks for today to help you put things in perspective.
1 I frequently evaluate grant proposals, especially from small groups looking for modest funding to change harmful, deep-seated cultural practices. Sigh. Good luck with that one.
Reality check: sometimes large and unexpected changes come from small and humble origins.
2 Margaret Mead. An iconic American cultural anthropologist well worth study, especially by those who think they have no need for ‘cultural anthropology.’ Her insights will help you see everything differently. Plus she was the mother of Mary Catherine Bateson, a towering figure in her own right.
So, when small initiatives seem pointless, revisit MM:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Nicholas Kristof’s op-ed in Sunday’s New York Times is essentially a reminder about perspective and having historical vision. It’s too easy to get caught up the in the immediate turmoils of our day-to-day lives.
Remember – or remember hearing about – the scourge of rampant, unchecked polio? Guinea worm? Horrific infant and maternal mortality rates that kept life expectancy to a mere 40 years of age?
Yup, we’re far from perfect. But let’s keep the past in mind.