Photo credit: Robin Malmanger

By Dave Markwell

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.”

– George Bernard Shaw

I get this and I like this. At first reading, the words sounded a little extreme. I’m not afraid of service, but I’m not too interested in martyrdom, either. I’ve got enough of my own cares and concerns requiring my attention to entertain in global distractions.

The thing is – we don’t have to choose. We can do both.

In little and big ways, we contribute to the whole. This is a responsibility we all share. It is a duty and a privilege. And, it’s easy. Simply spreading our unique humanities, freely and generously, as we walk our path, contributes to a better world. Being actively engaged in connecting with people we pass during our travels matters. It’s powerful stuff. These connections inspire us to be kinder and remind us of our part in a big thing.

Big things are accumulations of little things. The sea is a collection of rain drops. Little things add up. Soft, but deliberate, demonstrations of responsibility and care make things better. Picking up a pop can or saying “hello” to a stranger makes things better, either tangibly or as an example of what’s possible for all of us.

In this current, crazy world a lot of energy is spent illuminating what’s “wrong”. A little more collective energy focused on tidying up the ground under our own feet would go a long way. We don’t have to change the world. We can just pay some attention to our little piece of it, and do what we can to make it beautiful. This will change the world, and us, too. We all win.

Dave Markwell is a life-long Des Moines liver and lover. Former owner of Waterland CrossFit and the Waterland Arcade, Dave is now using his unique story-telling voice to help small businesses tell a better story, and his love for people to help folks live bigger and better lives.

For more info. check out his website:

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Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...