The question on "What kind of person do you want to be?" was the first one I did, and it was the best experience.
That left the beauty audit (which I also wrote about yesterday), the self-compassionate letter to my body, writing about thinking about my body as something that performs rather than appears, but also that other question paired with the first...
"How do you want the world to be different when you leave it?"
That was discouraging because I don't think I can make that much difference. I would like to restore the environment so that global warming is no longer a danger and that this time period does not become the fifth mass extinction. I would like to eliminate racism and poverty. I do not believe I can do these things.
One of the points I wrote about yesterday that did make me feel good is that I do help people now. I know I have an impact on individuals through kindness. I am also aware that my blogging is helpful to some people in terms of helping them figure out ways to say what they want to say, whether that means talking about their feelings and motivations or politics. Without debating the size of the impact, those people will die too. To have an impact that goes beyond the length of our lives seems very unrealistic.
On one level I was prepared for that obstacle. I am constantly aware of how much humans mess up, but also I have a faith that God will heal it, on a schedule that I don't know. Because my religious beliefs include a belief in the great worth of a soul (and each soul), then I do believe that helping an individual matters, for their sakes. Thinking about making the world a better place, though, on a global scale, there I have some doubts.
Still, I take questions seriously, almost compulsively so. I had to think about this one. I found three areas of focus.
One of them is more religious, in that I want the family history and temple work for my family caught up before I die. That shouldn't change the world much, as it focuses on those who are already gone. I still believe it's important. Also, it's practical for me to be the one who completes it, because no one in my family is reproducing.
The other two things come from my "47 uses for a billion dollars" thing. I still haven't come up with a full 47, but someday I am going to focus on that and do some pertinent blogging.
Without having completed that yet, there are still two areas that are especially important to me: permaculture and diverse books and movies.
These are topics that speak to my heart and excite my brain, but they are also very reasonable ways of improving this world. Diverse books and movies are important for creating empathy between different people and building acceptance. That would be reason enough, but a beautiful side effect is that working on it encourages individual creativity and self-expression. That is something that makes a better world. If the only thing I can do now is appreciate and recommend diverse works so maybe a few other people check them out to, I will do it. That might not be enough to end racism on its own, but I do believe it's a step in the right direction.
Spreading permaculture would be so good for the environment. You can create carbon sinks and support pollinators, purify water, provide local food, and make a better world. There are so many good applications. Right now, I am just learning about it and not even implementing it on my own land yet, but I hope to create something beautiful here, and inspire other people to try.
Is that encouraging? Not completely. It is realistic. Also, (crucially) this is being true to myself.