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Music and the Spoken Word: A catalyst for positive change
In our efforts to improve the world, or even just improve ourselves, sometimes we need a catalyst. - photo by Deseret Connect
Editor's note: The Spoken Word is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast.

In our efforts to improve the world, or even just improve ourselves, sometimes we need a catalyst.

What is a catalyst? A scientist would tell you it is a substance that starts or hastens a chemical reaction. But the word also has meaning outside the world of chemistry: a catalyst can be an event or, just as often, a person that causes change or action, that makes things happen.

If we think about it, we can all identify experiences that altered our lives sometimes for the better, sometimes not. What have been the catalysts in your life? Maybe it was a diagnosis, a move or a promotion. Perhaps it was something more subtle, like a chance meeting with an old friend, a phone call from a family member, or an encouraging word from a stranger. Frequently, the force behind lifes most meaningful catalysts is a person.

Some people just seem to have a way of changing the status quo. They walk into a room and make everyone around them feel and act better. They bring light and love, goodness and wisdom, patience and perspective. Of course, the opposite is also true. There are others who prevent good things from happening. Either by their attitudes or their actions, they seem to hinder growth and cooperation, friendship and understanding.

Whether we realize it or not, each of us has the power to be a catalyst in someones life, including our own. If we choose to, we can all inspire growth and happiness in ourselves and others.

A positive catalyst doesnt have to be charismatic or commanding. Often the most effective catalysts are quiet, steady and observant always ready to help. They try their best to leave each person and each place better than they found it. Of course they arent always happy, and they certainly arent perfect, but they try to be a catalyst for positive change.

Good things dont just happen. Theyre usually sparked by someone who makes good things happen. Thats what the world needs more than ever: people who do their part to create positive change.
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