By Kadee Taylor
The captivating opening and closing monologue made the new Wonder Woman film instantly relatable for me. I’ve dedicated a lot of my time to nonprofit organizations that I’m passionate about. I’m pursuing a career in social policy impact. I’ve often felt that the world needs “saving”.
But, Diana learned two important lessons that altered her perception about wanting to save the world…
We Save the World One by One
It’s apparent that Diana would have done anything to fulfill her sacred duty to protect the world and mankind from snares of Ares and his detrimental influence. She’d left her home and went to the ends of the Earth. She’d even tried to follow the way of life in her new surroundings in hopes that it would be a means to a glorious end.
But what ultimately moved her to action? She encountered one person in need, one person pleading for help, one person on her path to “saving the world”. She knew that her efforts thus far would be futile if she refused to help carry the burden of this one woman and her child.
She didn’t know exactly what to do, she didn’t know the end from the beginning, but she knew she needed to act. So, that’s exactly what she did. She could not do everything, but she could do something, and because she had the courage to do something, others followed her lead. And guess what?! They didn’t save the world, but they saved an entire village!
One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Beth Clark and it says this:
“People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference the world: They hold unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.”
You can Shove out the Darkness, or you can Spread the Light
For the majority of the film, Diana was completely honed in on removing Ares from the world in order to bring an end to his influence. She centered all her efforts on expelling him and halting his powers. This task consumed her, and rightfully so. She saw it as the end-all be-all and the solution to the problems that the world was facing.
But Diana experienced something more powerful than her noble desire to drown out hate. She felt and recognized love and connection. Love became the driving force for the change she wanted to create. Sharing that love became her motivator, and it was love that gave her the power to influence others.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best when he stated that,
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
I think that in today’s world we expend far too much energy fighting against what we hate, bashing who we disagree with or attempting to abolish the damaging power of others. It is my humble opinion that our influence would be far more impactful if we decided to focus on spreading what we love, rather than eliminating what we hate.
Yes, I used to want to save the world. But now I think that our real power, and our real influence come when we spread light and love. Real change takes place when we reach out to the one and lift where we stand. So, I invite you – yes, you – to be satisfied with small changes, to get excited over one smile. I invite you to spread what you love and feel the power and influence that comes from doing so.
You’ll be a part of saving the world, and stopping the hate.
This piece originally appeared on Kadee’s blog.