You Do Count (But Don’t Let it be Negatively)

Christian author, Max Lucado wrote a book entitled, It’s Not About Me, in which Lucado points out that we each have a tendency, from very early in life, to believe that we are the center of our own universe. Our social environment doesn’t necessarily break us from this tendency, but more likely builds upon it. Although we learn to get along with others, we still tend to make our decisions based on how the outcome will affect us as individuals. The adage of “looking out for number one” or “taking care of yourself because no one else will” is echoed on a daily basis, from career opportunities to skin care commercials. Even looking at this concept from a more noble perspective, we begin to adopt mantras that we should ”take responsibility for our own actions” or that we must “take pride in personal tasks.” Oh, and to complain when things become too tough will generally be perceived as a weakness.

The fact of the matter is that we are responsible for ourselves, but we’re also responsible for much more than only ourselves. We’re part of a much larger (and intimidating) system. Rather than always seeing ourselves at the center of our make-shift universe, we may, instead, often believe that we’re such a small part, our decisions and actions don’t really count. However, anything we do as individuals, multiplied by the efforts of all, will ultimately impact this universal system in a massive way.

Did you take a moment to consider that last statement? As an individual, you do count, both positively and negatively. When you make decisions based only upon individual needs, your decision counts, though sometimes (unfortunately) negatively. When you make decisions based on the needs of the whole, even individually, you can produce a huge return on your investment for many future generations. If we all band together to make a difference by choosing to take even one positive and specific action, can you imagine how our efforts might be multiplied?

Building a church from the ground up

Building a church from the ground up

Sudan kids


Posted in response to this week’s Trifecta challenge (333 words using the word band by its 3rd definition) & in honor of so many who have stepped forward to be World-Changers, whether in their neighborhoods or across the globe.

Love & respect, -jody



Lucado M. It’s not about me. Nashville (TN): Integrity Publishers; 2004.

31 thoughts on “You Do Count (But Don’t Let it be Negatively)

  1. “However, anything we do as individuals, multiplied by the efforts of all, will ultimately impact this universal system in a massive way.” I highlighted this right before you said to take notice. Service to others is and has always been important to me. I’ve recently had conversations with people from many different countries, and I think their grasp on this message is better than “ours”. I know that was generalizing a bit but a subjective observation on my part. Nicely done, Jodi!

  2. so here’s the thing, I just got back from BlogHer where in the space of a few minutes I could go from being surrounded by love and people to being alone in the middle of the lobby and feeling “lonely” only to turn around and make a new friend, see an old friend or sit down and have some moments of quiet with myself.

    this post is thoughtful and TRUE, I am often NOT the center of my own universe and make everyone in my life the center and forgot to include myself. But in thinking in terms of the BIGGER WORLD, the BIGGER PICTURE I see the effect just a small gesture or positive word can have.

    you always write such incredible posts, this is another one that has made me “thinking”
    thank you for being you, and for linking up this week. -Kir xo

    • You’re such a thoughtful and thought-provoking person (and friend), Kir. I love the way you brought it down to the one small gesture of reaching out to someone. What a difference that can make in a person’s day (that might otherwise be “sucking out”, to put it bluntly). The sense of community is a powerful contribution to the world. 🙂 Hugs.

  3. Well, first of all, I think it is hilarious that Kir, Gina and I are all commenting on the first post to be linked up. Geez! What a band of keeners we are! 🙂
    Secondly, couldn’t agree more with your message. We have Max Lucado books in our house and the girls love the types of stories he creates. A home or at school, I always try to instill the message that it is always good to do good for others, always nice to be nice to others and it is always right to do the right things in life. Thanks for being someone who makes things better. 🙂

    • Holy Moly! Trifecta put together the trifecta of dream-team encouragers this week! You did good, Tom, to get linked together with these 2 hotties! 😉 😉 I tried to answer you back on another link once with this response, but my iPhone was banning me from comments that day, so here it is now…”It takes one to know one, Tom.” I appreciate how you make the world better through the love & concern you give your students & those of us in this community. I know your family’s a lucky bunch> 🙂

  4. Max Lucado is an inspiring author. It is so true that actions made for the benefit of self are often detrimental to the whole. I love it when people come together on projects to help others because not only does it benefit those we sought to help, it benefits us, because frankly, it feels good to help someone else without expecting a thing in return.

  5. Setting asides self is something we humans struggle mightily against every day. One of my guiding principles in the J.O.Y. one. It says Jesus first, others second, yourself last.

  6. My motto as well. Just thinking positive thoughts and thoughts of peace can impact the universal consciousness. We can see how much is shifting in recent years in our social acceptance of previous “taboos”. Well written and right on!

    • ..then a study comes along today that says blurting out curse words can help get rid of bottled up emotion and make people feel more peaceful – – huh…stupid universe!!! 😉

  7. What a great reminder of our potential to positively impact others when we step away from our “me, me, me” agendas. Very thoughtful piece. Love the accompanying photos as well. They really drive home your point.

    • So very good to hear from you, MG! I’ve missed frolicking in haibuns & haikus with our gentlemanly pirate lately. 😦 With that being said, please forgive me – I’m a bit bogged down on my “scientific” side right now. Hope you’re doing well. 🙂

      • Thank you so much for your words…meant more than you can imagine! You have such a valuable scientific side, that can be seen please never ask for forgiveness….! I’m just getting a shock there are such nice, decent people around who are bloggers on wordpress! Am moving location so was running around….not piratin’ though!

  8. I love messages that transcend pretty much all religious or cultural boundaries and can speak to every single person on the blue spinning planet – selfless service (not to be confused with always saying yes to everything), searching for gratitude and ways to embody an everything and nothing matters ideal, where all that you do does in fact count simply because you exist. These are ideas that are there for everyone to take advantage of, to the betterment of themselves and others. This was really lovely, and the way that you brought the thoughts to life in this piece speaks volumes about your writing 🙂

  9. ego-centrism starts at birth as we coo and focus all attention on one little being. (and rightfully so) Empathy then needs to be taught. Those who don’t learn often end up in sad, lonely lives . . . or in batterer’s programs. Well done Jody

    • Great additional thought, Kymm. (I’m concerned that too many may either sit on some of those hands or be holding too tight-fistedly onto their own “stuff” these days to be of any use, though.)

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