There’s a vast chasm, as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon, lodged firmly between the words “always” and “never”. Each one, a summit at the opposite ends of a possibility spectrum.

Consider a stranded traveler. Would we leave them in their plight because we can’t always be their savior? Does the impossibility of perpetual aid mean we should never extend our hand? Saying we can’t always toss them a lifeline is worlds away from saying we should turn our backs forever.

Let’s imagine our efforts to help as a spotlight in the darkest night. A small beam, perhaps, but enough to light a path. Yes, we can’t always be the lighthouse, a permanent beacon of guidance. Yet, that doesn’t mean we should let the night engulf the lost in its vast, unending darkness.

Life’s about finding balance, about dancing on the high wire stretched between extremes. There’s a trap lurking in this void, a quagmire of inaction. We often gaze into the insurmountable whole—the Everest of problems before us—and feel crushed. Overwhelmed by the impossibility of doing everything, we teeter on the edge of doing nothing.

However, past blunders or incomplete attempts shouldn’t be the chains that anchor us to stagnation. If you’ve stumbled in your dance before, it doesn’t mean you should forever stand still. The echoes of past mistakes should serve as lessons, not as jailers confining us to a cell of inaction.

Remember, we don’t need to boil the ocean to make a difference. A single drop can send ripples across the water’s surface. Just because you can’t create a tidal wave of change doesn’t mean you can’t disturb the waters with your efforts.

So, don’t be lured into the vacuum of inaction because you can’t summon a storm. Let your drop fall. Create your ripple. Be the change.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.