What is #LightTheWorld?
You’ve probably seen it by now; your facebook feed shows your friends adding “Light the World” frames to their profile pictures, an instagram photo shows a family donating water bottles with the #lighttheworld, or you see signs or posters with these three bold letters with pictures of Mary holding a newborn babe. So what is it?
#LightTheWorld is a campaign run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in an effort to help people follow the example of Jesus Christ by doing acts of service. In making those efforts to serve others and become like Christ, the goal is to “light the world.” After all, the paradox is true that:
When you lose yourself in service to others, you find yourself.
Christmas is a season of service, of giving. It is my favorite holiday, ]but because my focus goes beyond wrapped gifts, elaborate meals, long shopping lines, traffic on the roads, no parking, Santa Clause, feisty customers, lack of funds, coveting, etc etc.
This is the season of giving and I love how we get to celebrate Christ’s birth. He doesn’t ask much from us, besides a willing heart with actions to follow. This season and always we have the chance to share light with others by following the Savior’s example. There’s enough darkness in the world, and it’s time to bring back the warmth and goodness of humanity.
Why should we #LightTheWorld?
In Hawaii, there is a phrase that I learned in high school:
Nānā i ke kumu: Look to your source, find your truth.
I love this phrase because it tells us to go to the source, no matter what. In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks about how important it is to have a center, or a source, that guides our actions and thoughts. In this life, the strongest core we could have is Christ. As we look to him as our source, we find our truth. We follow his example, serving others and sharing of our time and talents, and all of this adds up to a potent discovery of who we are. It helps us find a sense of place.
The sense of place is why I started this blog. I want to help Hawaii locals to discover who they are, help them relate with other locals who have moved away from home, and figure out how they fit into this world. But, ultimately, no matter how many articles I write or studies that I do on the American-Hawaiian identity and experience to help the Polynesian community, any person can find their sense of place when they look to Christ as their center, as their core, as their source of light in this life. His was a life of selfless service, humility, and hope for all of us. He was the perfect example. While we won’t be able to attain perfection in this life, we can still try to become as close to the Savior as we can, and because of his Atonement, we can make it back to God.
Like I said: When you lose yourself in service to others, you find yourself.
You find yourself, and that’s how I viewed the #LightTheWorld campaign. Nānā i ke kumu—it helps us to find a sense of place.
In one of my favorite books, Managing with Aloha, Rosa Says sums up this concept perfectly. She says:
There is an inner wellspring inside all of us, and we will go to this inner well to get healthy. We find reason. We find heart. We find soul. Nānā i ke kumu: Look to your source. Find your truth.
Nānā i ke kumu is a phrase of encouragement, telling us to look inward to this source of well-being as our constant and our truth.
Nānā i ke kumu. Look to the source you have revealed, and let it inspire you. Let it energize you. You will not hesitate, and you will not falter.
You will Ho’omau with renewed strength. You will be warmed by the Aloha of your own spirit. You will continue.
This concept of nānā i ke kumu isn’t just about helping you find your sense of place, increasing your confidence and strengthening your resolve, but it’s about helping others find their sense of place as well. As Rosa states, “You will be warmed by the Aloha of your own spirit.” You will be surprised at how much you discover about yourself and this life as you selflessly give to others.
So how can you light the world this Christmas?
One word sums it all up: Service. If that makes you a little uneasy, no worries. It really doesn’t have to be hard. Even the smallest acts of service can make the biggest difference.
You can receive texts on your phone to remind you of how you can light the world, or you can print out the calendar at mormon.org. This campaign doesn’t tell you specifically what you can do, but it does provide scriptures to help inspire and motivate you to find your own ways to serve others.
After all, every person has different circumstances, and talents or skills that they can offer.
But when you choose Christ as your core, your center, you can’t go wrong. From deep in your heart you will begin to experience happiness—and even joy—as you selflessly give of your time, your talents, and your heart to others. As Rosa Say states in her book:
“There is an inner wellspring inside all of us, and we will go to this inner well to get healthy, in body, mind, and spirit. We find reason. We find heart’s passion. We find soul’s intention. So Nānā i ke kumu. Go to your well first, and be emotionally healthy. Find your sense of place and sense of belonging as a vibrant, ever-growing person of importance. You matter.”
Please feel free to visit mormon.org for more information on the campaing. Also, you don’t have to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints either to help light the world. Anyone and everyone is welcome to contribute. Let us look to the source of all truth and light this holiday season, and be warmed by the aloha of our hearts and the spirit of Christ.
Merry Christmas everyone!