I have a Microsoft word document saved to the desktop of my computer. Its six pages long with random lines highlighted throughout. Because of my extreme obsession with organization it’s categorized down even farther by subtopic. I call it: My Bucket List.
When I tell people, especially older relatives, of the document, the first thing to leave their lips is, “but you’re too young to have one of those!” Even upon hearing this time and time again I can’t help but be blown away by that statement. A bucket list isn’t about things to do before you die: it’s more about what you do while you’re alive. After all, is it ever too early to start living?
The list is broken into categories such as “places to go,” “things to see,” and—a personal favorite of mine—“stupid stuff” (which includes things like spending the entire day talking in an accent and having a picnic in McGill library). However the last section on my list is the most important: “Life Events.”
My life events list is filled with clichés such as graduating college, getting married, and buying a house. While I can acknowledge that some things on my list aren’t bound to happen anytime soon, it did get me wondering about the goals I could accomplish at this very moment.
This past week, one of my good friends, a junior at the University of Pittsburgh, accepted a position with the Disney Internship program for next semester. As I congratulated him on the amazing opportunity, I couldn’t help but shake my head in awe: he was living the dream. I scrolled to the bottom of my bucket list: “Work at Disney.” He was also living my dream. That’s what got me to thinking: what am I waiting for?
Sure, I can’t snap my fingers and graduate from college tomorrow, but there is a whole lot I can do right now. For example, anybody who knows me will know that I’ve wanted to learn to juggle since I knew what juggling was. On top of that, I’m nearly certain if I put even a little bit of time and effort into I could pick up basic juggling fairly quickly. Yet here I am, 19 years old, and “learn to juggle” is still at the top of the bucket list. This made me again ponder: what am I waiting for?
The most important thing on my list, though (and I feel a little silly even admitting this) is the very last bullet point: “Change the world.” I’m not sure this is even a quantifiable thing or if I would ever, realistically be able to cross it off, yet every time I open that document those three words stare right back at me, challenging me to do something. Honestly, I’m not sure if I can change the world, but you better believe I’m going to try. The way I’ve looked at that last bullet point is as if it’s the final tipping domino. If I can change the life of one person, who can in turn leave in impact on two others, the chain reaction is eventually unstoppable. To change even one person’s life for the better, would in my eyes, be an astounding accomplishment.
My challenge for you for this week is to change somebody’s world. Be it a smile, an encouraging word, or simply a shoulder to cry on: be there for somebody, because they will be there for somebody else, and the cycle will spin on. And maybe, just maybe, we can all change the world. What are you waiting for?