I have heard people worry about the world their Grandchildren will be left to live in. This is often why people cite when acting to advance change or protect the status quo.

People on both sides of the political aisle use it to justify their actions.

People often mention reasons for making the world a better place for future generations, such as being able to worship openly, protecting our constitutional rights, eliminating racial inequity, or saving the planet. These are all noble causes, and though people may disagree about what we should do in these areas politically, nearly everybody agrees we don’t want to go backward.

(Feel free to replace any of the causes I listed with any cause you find essential.)

As you know, I am a Grandparent. Like all grandparents, I would like my grandchildren to live in a better place than I did. But…

The more I think about it, the more I realize that instead of being fixated on the future of civilization, I should flip the script.

My granddaughter has been staying with us this week while my daughter and son-in-law are on vacation. It has been a time full of Play-Doh and pretend shopping. But as I look at her and wonder what the world will look like in forty years and how it will compare to the world I grew up in forty years ago, I should wonder about how I am preparing her to live in the world.

I keep asking myself, “What am I doing today to equip her better to deal with what the world will throw at her?” Am I helping to raise a victim, or am I helping to raise a woman who will work to worship openly, protect our constitutional rights, eliminate racial inequity, or preserve the resources around her?

It isn’t easy to raise a little girl. I know I did twice already.

But it must be easier than fixing the world.

Or is it?

Our actions in trying to fix the world might be easier than engaging and raising a child. Indeed, it is easier to go to a rally or complain to a friend about what is happening around us than to teach respect or accountability.

I’m not saying we stay completely passive on causes that matter to us. That would be a mistake. The phrase “If not me, then who” dates to the first century and has been credited to dozens of people.

I will continue to put time into making the world a better place. But in the future, I will spend more time and focus on ensuring my loved ones are better equipped to face the world. It is hard to think my actions can change the world. On the other hand, I know the actions of one person can shape and mold another person. I have both seen and experienced it firsthand.

I can’t think of a better way to be a person making a difference in the people around me than to invest in the people around me.

Besides, it’s more fun. Even if, at times, it can be exhausting.