Every day we are given a unique opportunity to be advocates of transformation.

Our lot in life does not define nor constrain our potential for good.

The corporate executive that was given the option to shift the vision of his organization from one of greed to one of social responsibility. He knows profits may be lost. He understands the target he places on his career by infuriating a board who still presume the science of the changing world is just a belief and not a reality. He doesn’t care. And the rainforest that was going to be cut down, the animals that were threatened with extinction, and the community that would not survive the devastation–they all bow their heads in silent gratitude.

The attorney who left a lucrative job so she can start a non-profit representing those who cannot afford representation. She inspired another little girl who saw the jeans, the brilliant words, and the fancy papers on the wall to minor in political science when she gets to college. Her major will be in science, for she feels there is too much focus on profits in government and not enough scientists who understand the issues affecting our world. Her dream is to be the first President with a PhD since Woodrow Wilson.

The unemployed mom who has been trying to find work continues her education to increase her knowledge, never screaming about how unfair the world is, never defining her losses as the world fighting against her. Someone took notice of her work. The student is now a teacher, no proverbial meaning needed.

The young boy who has never had a positive father figure volunteers at a homeless shelter, feeding those who have less on their plate than he, for at least he has a plate. To some, he has all the riches of the world. And his hands provide the wealth of compassion that too many others keep in their pockets.

We are the engines of Earth. We create ripples that spread across our shared experiences. Whether we make giant leaps of innovation that can improve the way we all live, or small gestures of gratitude that may brighten just one person’s day, each of us holds the ability and responsibility to reflect the very best that humanity has to offer. We may not feel the changes firsthand, we may sweat and cry and bleed only to see ourselves staring back in frustration, but it is better to build a fortress in the desert than die silently in a crowd.

Add value to your life by giving life to your values. Have conversations that can shape minds and create ideas. And take actions that will make our planet a better place today than it was yesterday.

Perceived fragility may find strangers witnessing unexpected strength. Greatness lies within all who are willing to reach out for it.

Open your hands and the universe will reach back.