This question can be taken in a million different directions. It is a complicated and complex question because when we say we need more of something, we are also saying we need less of something else. And vise versa.
Need is also a strong a word. It is very different than the word want. It carries weight. Need happens in response to a lack and it is something that is essential to have.
I’ve spent a while thinking on these two questions this past month and I have exhausted a list of needs. However, the one that trumps them all is the need to simple listen.
To learn from someone else is to listen to them. To observe them and to see them from who they share that they are, not through what I choose to project on them. That’s challenging. I fail at it daily. And that is all the more reason to continue to figure out what it really means to listen and to really see someone.
Some may disagree with me here and may not see the great value of listening and that’s okay. We may have different ideas of what we need, but there is a lot to learn when we hear someone else’s ideas of where they see lack in the world around us.
And so, with that, I want to encourage you to hear these words. Listen as you read. Let them impact you. And let them challenge you to write your own words— because we always need more voices shared and your voice deserves to be heard.
What does the world need more of?
Gentleness, a soft voice, a soft presence
Meekness, a quiet leader
Rich, seasoned, fruitful soil
Steady, lowly, dusty people
People that come home dirty from joining in the messiness of others all day long –
People that allow others to get messy for them too
What does the world need more of?
Soft, well tilled hearts
Hearts that welcome the weeds of others
Because they found their own weeds need only to be brought before The Gardner
He prunes, refines, sows, clips
All to make beautiful the most unlikely places
What does the world need more of?
If the community in Athens has taught me anything, it is the beauty and importance of showing up. Sometimes the act of showing up can seem so simple in the grand scheme of things, but the world needs more people who show up consistently. Think about how you feel when someone shows up for you- whether it’s at your birthday party or coming to sit in a room full of middle school girls to listen to your club talk or even someone just coming to your house with a CFA chicken biscuit when it’s been a long week. When people show up for me, I feel completely humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude. Showing up is so much more than just being physically present- it’s a way of surrendering your time to say, “________ is more important than me right now.” Whether someone shows up for you or you show up for someone, both sides are blessed. What an easy way to make people feel seen and supported. When I imagine a world of people consistently showing up for one another, I imagine a world of JOY and people having more confidence in themselves. I could have written that the world needs more of those two things, but I think that can seem too broad to reach for. Rather, we must take small steps toward joy and self-confidence, such as showing up. And, not for people to just show up once, but for consistency in doing so. May we all be willing to show up- in the places that scare us, in the places where we may not know a lot of people, and in the places that we love and feel at home in.
Joseph Shackley is a London journalist and family man blogging about being nice.
You heard that right, world.
My guy has an entire website about being and niceness. As a matter of fact, he calls it —
The British are nice. Nice Englishmen. Interesting.
Joseph has created a niceness manual for the world. One in which he goes about thoroughly proving and explaining why a positive approach to the pursuit and application of niceness could be revolutionary.
Last week, in my rapidly diminishing spare time, Joseph and I studied Nietzche together. I am not sure what he was doing on the other side of the pond but my feet were kicked up on my back porch as I perused his writing and took notes to ask questions.
It was like talking to my philosophy professor from college without the tuition.
So you mean… You are going to educate me for the free 99? I’m here for it, homie.
But never fear, if Nietzche isn’t your philosopher of choice. — (He did have a tremendous popularity with the Nazi Party after death… But in his defense, he was dead, his sister was evil, and Joseph can teach you more. Lol.) — Homeboy is covering all the major philosophies and philosophers on his page and merging them into his own unique pop-philosophy —
… like a philosophy for the post-postmodern world, somewhere between an acceptance and celebration of Freudian determinism, adopting the good faith of early Sartrean positivist existentialism and fusing it with the harmonious Way of the Tao, in the hope of building a fair and equal Marxist/Socialist utopia. And at other times I’ll just chat about stuff that interests me – and how Niceness can help us all feel a bit happier. Because we need to be Nicer to each other – now more than ever.
I understand that philosophy can be dense and not everyone gets into it. But check his page out and show him some love because of what he’s doing.
He didn’t just say that the world needs niceness. He said, I will give the world what it needs. I will share what I know with everyone that I can.
We need more good people like that in the world, in my opinion. Folks willing to say, then do. Rather than just criticize. We don’t all have to study philosophy.
But maybe we should at least listen — critically, of course — when someone else does.
I hope the world gets a little nicer because I shared his work with everyone I could.
I can’t wait to keep learning with you, Joseph, and thank you for being a part of our Follower Friday this week on Herstun.
We see you out here grinding and we need you to keep writing. We are watching.
(check out the important work she is doing at https://herstun.com/ )
The world needs more Mak’s.
She is light on her feet but tougher than the court itself. “Put me in coach” she will always yell after putting an Mak sized hole in the floor. She’ll turn over the ball but she’ll run right after it as many times as she’s got to. She’ll push Chell miles away from a fight and then push herself harder. I don’t even know what she’s been through but I know it has pushed her into the ground and she’s always bounced back. And she always will, she says so herself. Mak goes in knowing she’ll get beat down and shaped up. She gets upset when she loses a game because she’s still willing to feel. How is that? That she isn’t numb? “Here we go,” she’ll say, “let’s shock the world” she’ll say. I’ve seen her walk next to her abusive mom and keep walking around the top of the gym – away. Mak got into college last week – Valdosta State. “I wanna be an activist I wanna spread love” she texted me. Valdosta better get ready.
More of Her
“I wish I could stand”, she said. She offered her arms from her chair in the surrender of a hug. We embraced and touched foreheads. A common weekend morning routine. Everything’s okay again, and she likely forgot she’s in her chair. Some days it’s a well deserved, “You look bad”. Others it’s, “You are the loveliest girl”. Whatever it is, she means it with truly good intention. It’s neither mean nor nice. It’s honest. How refreshing.
I like to do a little foolish dance to make her laugh. She kindly offers the response I’m looking for most times. Though her circumstances have not been kind, she has shared the same response to them as she has to me. Her sadness is matched with love. Her pain is matched with laughter. Her undeserved treatment is matched with gentleness.
She makes no excuses. She does not perceive her history as one of victimhood. She is a mighty force in a frail form. She asks for nothing. She gives as much as she can. We need more of her. I need more of her. And if she could give it, I swear that she would.
often full of good intentions, seldom acted upon.
we say things in moments of passion when we’re moved, but how quickly those thoughts of empathy fade once the object of pity moves farther and farther into the background of our lives.
we leave the people who need us the most in our rear views because we assume they’re okay. they’re so strong. they’ve never asked for help and when I offer it, they never know how to accept it.
so I’ll promise them things that I’ll never act upon because it’s easier for me to cope with their pain in the moment if I cover it up with empty words. I offer them love I know they’ll never come asking for because it’s easy. it’s convenient for me and they’ve felt this pain before, they can handle it now.
I’ll build up their hopes and dreams and won’t be around when they rise to the occasion or fall to the dust because they don’t need me. they don’t need my promises. It makes them roll off my tongue so easily.
we need your promises. we don’t need your pity. we don’t need you to call us strong; we need you to tell us that it’s okay if we’re not. we need you to show up like you said you would, like you know we would do for you. we would rather never hear the words of hopes and dreams and promises roll off your tongue if you have no intention of making it happen. we have had to fight for every inch of love we’ve ever gotten and we simply cannot keep fighting for it. we need you to see us the way we see you. we need promises that are acted upon out of a deep love, not a evading moment of pity.
This world needs more people who listen.
This world is loud.
It has a voice of its own and can often mute our own voices and make us into something else.
If only we fought night and day to be people that really stopped their own voice to hear the voice, heart cries, pain and joys, dreams & prayers of others.
If there were more people who truly listened to hear the voice of God in those He made.
If we stop to listen to those around us we may start knowing less of the world and more of Him.
Becoming less of the world and more of Him.
Seeking less of the world and more of Him.
Muting more of the world and tuning into more of Him.
Is less really more?
In some senses, I would say absolutely.
the world needs to be in less of a rush.
a slower pace allows us to be present.
it gives us the freedom to be interrupted.
it allows us to see people as people and
promotes a posture of learning.
it teaches us to listen and gives us space to be honest.
it forces us to stop and admire the beauty in our midst.
stop, smell the roses.
you’ll never know what you might realize
in that moment of slowing down.
you might gain the confidence to chase your dream,
you might meet a stranger who will change your life,
you might decide to embark on a great new adventure,
or you might just learn that there is beauty
in breathing deep and walking slow.
Is less really more?
I’d say so, at least in this case.
Less might be the more this world truly needs.
A Train Of Thought Circling The Directed Topic-
Everything that is more of something is also less of something, you know? Like if I said the world needs more feeling, I’d be saying it needed less apathy. Or if I said the world needed less mosquitos, I’d also be saying the world needs less guppies (a prolific mosquito eater). Every yes is a no, every no is a yes. You can’t squish the end of one thing without it squeezing out of the other. And who am I to even say what the world needs more of? I hardly know what I need in a given moment, can’t articulate my thoughts or feelings really ever. What if what I want more of in the world would make someone else’s existence suck? Like imagine if I was really into Eastern Hellbenders and I said the world needed more of them, but lo and behold everyone else in the world hates two foot salamanders and never went to the creeks again. I really want to answer this prompt though, what does the world need more or less of. The world of myself, the world inside the confines of my skin and presence needs less overthinking. The world known as Phebe needs more actual answers.
I want to say that the world needs more connection to nature. But what I love about nature is the solitude so the world should get more connection to nature, just not in my woods. But what even is nature? Maybe the world needs more understanding that there is no nature, only present and place. City blocks and dirt floor basements and Yosemite National Forest, all nature. All natural in the way that everything on earth is of the earth, except the energy of the sun and whatever crashed in on meteors. And aliens I guess, if you are into that kind of thing. Idk this feels to hippie dippy for me.
The next choice is obviously more love. But then again love is all around, love of self and love of profit. Love of tribe, love of cause, love of own voice, love of own appearance, love of own aura and power. But I am sure as shit not going to say the world needs less love.
And here I land- The world needs clearer eyes. To see each other and our environment, our culture and world with more honesty. Less bias, less collected surface grime on our looking lenses. But the thought of looking at myself with clear eyes is terrifying so let me throw in courage too. More courage to look and more endurance to not look away. More humility to name mistakes, more confidence to name successes. More high places to stand on top of to look down and get the bigger and clearer picture of how everyone is connected. Clearer eyes in the hope that when we see each other and ourselves with honesty, that compassion and empathy and togetherness will blossom.
I will also say that the world needs more pranks, pop-tarts, and small navy blue beanies because there are no downsides to any of those things at all ever.
Let’s Have It
We all know what the world needs more of. We feel it when it happens to us. Like we are driving in the correct lane again. Here it is:
- Barefoot dancing on kitchen floors
- Hand holding and back scratching
- Listening to understand not to respond
- Loosening up
- Late night ice cream
- Announcing goodness when it is seen
- Counting daily gifts
- Loyalty to one another
- Indoor plants & buying each other flowers
- Group sunset viewings
- Round tables
- Hearing stories
- Speaking up for people
- Sacrificing time – being available
- Open mindedness
- Slow mornings
- Twinkle lights
Was it the place?
Or was it the space?
the space the new place carries
Maybe the world isn’t in need
Of next, new, better, more,
but the space those things bring.
We grow, shrink, make, take shape
in the space
the worlds needs
blue skies with puffy clouds
a day dedicated to self-love
a population that wants to listen
a house where biggie’s voice can shake the walls
stubbing of your toe
a test that puts people into a box
a feeling of imposter syndrome
a difference in the amount a woman gets paid versus a man
people that know how to show up
a space where everybody is truly welcomed
a community full of different thoughts
a society that embraces people who aren’t similar to themselves
fear of walking into a school because of April 20th, 1999
a group of people not realizing their privilege
a man in charge that has been accused of sexual harassment
a mindset that the woman is guilty because of the clothing she was wearing
conversations that challenge others
a crowd that celebrates the small things
a mentality that everybody has their own story
a world that sees the beauty in the rose growing from the concrete
the world needs a
little more yang
and little less yin
Sometimes I speak for the whole world, but now I’ll just speak about mine.
What does my world need more of?
I climb more now. Boulder even.
I was working on a route, and I couldn’t get up the bouldering wall.
I attempted. And again and again, I still couldn’t make it to the top.
My friend Tim looked at me, “What are you going to do?”
I got excited and motivated, “I’m going to do it!”
“Okay, but what are you going to do? Look at the wall and tell me how you’re going to get to the top.”
This is what my world needs more of.
Wait. Look up. Envision the details, not just the ending.
And then move.
What does my world need less of?
Well, this time I’ll speak for the whole world.
I bike fairly often.
The other day I was biking, and I heard my bike make a constant screeching sound. Those were my chains. They have grown dull and dry, and are in need of attention. They need maintenance. I was on my way to class, so I couldn’t address it then. What did I do? I put in my earphones to drown out the noise.
I biked to class in peace. I put on my favorite song, and my bike’s cry for help faded away. And then I did this the next day. And the next.
This is what the world needs less of.
Distraction. Distractions of good things even. We fill our ears and our eyes and our bellies and our minds. We fill up. We distract.
I sure do. I think we all do.
It needs to stop.
“God isn’t afraid of your questions”
But I have felt afraid of my questions
They feel never ending
And alone, without company
God isn’t afraid of my questions,
But as a community, we are afraid
We don’t have answers for most things
Yet we chase the false certainty that gives us ground to stand on
Let us stand instead on the ground of uncertainty and true trust,
Trust that takes faith
And acknowledging we don’t have all the answers
Let us be quick to ask, slow to answer,
And constantly learning to trust.
Mary Hathaway Lipscomb
I think that the world needs more moments like airport reunions. I’m writing this after just coming home from picking up my sister from the airport and there are few smiles that beat the ones of people reuniting in the airport. It is one of my all time favorite things to watch. There were little kids running off the escalator into their grandparents arms, a mom wearing a full chicken outfit welcoming her daughter back after passing a major law school exam, someone with a “Bienvenido a USA” sign welcoming a family from another country. Even the most calm looking people or people who have had hours of travel from another country break out into a big smile when they are greeted with a hug at the airport from someone they love. Standing at baggage claim there’s a sense of joy, excitement that you can’t deny in people reuniting with family and friends that they love. Even in the flights I’ve had to make after feeling the most difficult pain, being greeted with a hug from my Grandpa brought comfort. Not just because he was there but because of what it meant – because it brought a feeling as though maybe it really would all end up being ok. I think the world needs more of this in the sense of more of a willingness to pause, slow down, to make the trek inside the airport for the people we love. I think the world needs more of this in the sense of celebrating each other – celebrating and appreciating simply being with each other in moments of amazing joy and moments of pain. I think the world needs more of this in the sense of welcoming each other in so fully with open arms. I saw someone walk up to someone they were picking up and give them a hug and say “it’s nice to meet you” – she had never met this person before but still welcomed them in a hug. I’ve come to realize this year that I think it is the most beautiful thing, one of the biggest blessings and something I believe we were created for – to get to spend time with, lean on, and feel wrapped up by the people we love, and I think if the world had more moments like airport reunions it could make the world just a little bit brighter.