It is easy to feel powerless in today’s world. Corruption and violence occupy the highest places of power. Ordinary people can feel like pawns in someone else’s game. At times like these it is important to remember the perennial wisdom that we shape the world with our thoughts. This saying does not mean holding certain images in our head will magically change the world. There is no magic wishbone in life. Still, each of us has some immediate if subtle affect on our world. Over time, faith moves mountains, it just happens a pebble at a time. “Faith” in this sense does not mean “wishing.” Faith is the trust that will move us to words and deeds.

Consider these words from an ancient Taoist: “When you meet dishonest people, move them with sincerity. When you meet violent people, affect them with gentility. When you meet warped people, inspire them with justice. Then the whole world enters your forge.” This ancient sage is saying that we can be like blacksmiths shaping our world. He believed that no matter what happens we can be an influence for a more positive future. The coldest, cruelest attitude may begin to melt under the gentle influence our our bellows. The slightest tap of our hammer may have an immeasurable effect over time. And we should remember that we are not alone, other smithies are working for the same future. Each of us may make an imperceptible dent on any given day, but together, over time, we shape the future.