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So, what are you doing with your life? Is it something meaningful?
Most people want to make a difference during their lives. Most people also aren’t just given big opportunities to do so. But we can all find ways to add value in our own ways.
Consider the turn of the 20th century. Women in the US had few paths open to them, but still found ways to make an impact on the world.
Training in home economics for women was being funded as a practical means of training the future wives and mothers of America. They were expected to keep their knowledge within their homes, and take efficient care of their families
But the leading women home economists refused to be so limited. They turned their research of a well-run home into a career niche, at a time when “career women” were not welcomed.
As Ellen Swallow Richards wrote in 1900:
“The educated woman longs for a career, for an opportunity to influence the world. Just now, the greatest field offered to her is the elevation of the home into it’s place in American life.”
Small Steps Lead to Big Results
These brave women took the small opportunities they had, and made the most of them. Not only did their efforts bring personal value to their own lives, they also influenced the world in unexpected ways.
Home economists proved their value to the nation during World War I, when their scientific knowledge of fabrics and food became vital. Which fibers last longer under hard wear? What’s the best way to protect military bedding from mildew? What foods are most nutritious? How can they be preserved? The home economists were ready with the answers.
With the help of the home economists, the US Food Administration recruited some 750,000 women to help teach the rest of America’s women about food conservation. Their slogan became “Food will win the war.”
-Quoted from The Lost Art of Dress, by Linda Przybyszewski
Find Your Own Way to Make a Difference
When we strive to be our best, we may not all help to win wars (or end wars), but we can all make a difference.
As Mother Theresa said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
In your everyday life, you could be influencing the world around you in ways you don’t even realize. Now, when you start to take notice, you can make your impact a good one.
Find a way to make your own path, even if it’s just a little one, to make your world a better place. Live your most effective life.