You can’t save everybody. That’s a fact.
It took me many, many years to realize this.
I can’t save all the obese people in the world from themselves. I can’t fill the emptiness inside of them that some are so desperately trying to plug with food. I can’t commandeer their grocery carts at Stop-and-Shop and toss the cookies and pasta and bread. I have to wait for them to walk through these doors and commit to exercise, and chicken, and asparagus.
I can’t save the eating disorder crowd either. I can help them to snatch and row and talk about good choices, but they have to learn to love themselves and pick up the fork and eat.
I can’t save the skinny nerds from getting beat up on the playground. I can put muscle on ’em, sure, but they have to learn to put up their dukes and defend themselves. I can’t throw their punches for them.
I can’t even save the strong folks. The ones who tear up the place during the workout, desperately fighting some battle with themselves that only they understand. I don’t even know their inner war, let alone how to score it.
And, ultimately, I have to realize that maybe I don’t know best. Maybe my ways aren’t the best ways. Maybe some people are happy right where they are — and they have no reason to believe the life I can give them is better. They don’t want my help. So I have to let them be. See, I can’t save everybody. Most days, I can barely save myself.
But what can I do?
Take this day and make it right. Work hard, train hard, provide a little insight here, a little guidance there, a little support over that way.
I can coach people in movement . . . and, in some ways, in life. Fight the good fight. Take a heart and make it braver. Take a will and make it stronger. Use these words here right now to help somebody push on when they don’t think they can push anymore.
And love them all, in some way. This is probably more important than anything else I do, and harder, so much harder.
It’s all any of us can do. Each of us must find our strength and use it. To help ourselves, to help our families, to help others.
You can’t save everyone. But you can help most people you meet. So do that. And it will have to be enough.