The only people who tend to make that statement or to argue that they are just one person and nothing they will do can make a difference, are almost always the people who could give so much, if they wanted. Ever noticed that rarely do children, disabled or sick, or poor people make those kind of excuses?
We rave about how much someone like Princess Diana did for others when, nothing personal but, what she gave in relation to what she had and the position she was in to do good, is but a drop in the ocean. Yet we worship her as if she was a goddess, perhaps because it is rare to see people in her position do anything. Diana is called, “The People’s Princess.” and we marvel at her beauty.
Dying at the same time as she did was Mother Theresa who dedicated her entire life and gave everything she had. She did not have people to look after her, she did not have her own family, she did not have an endless supply of money, and she had no fame from which to set her platform. She did not call for press conferences to chronicle her every act. She did not have titles. She was not given all kinds of honours and gifts and ceremonies for her efforts. She just quietly got up every morning and did what she saw needed to be done. She didn’t show up for the photo ops. She rolled up her sleeves and looked after the lepers when no-one else would. She had a quiet funeral and we seldom mention her at all anymore. I am quite sure very few kids today would even know who Mother Theresa was. I am not sure she was what is considered “beautiful” and yet everything about who she was and her heart and its capacity for love and service, is beauty beyond what most of us can even understand.
I look at this man and see such beauty, such character, how I wish I might have known him. Why aren’t people like him and Mother Theresa the people that fill our news feeds and those who are held up as role models for our children? We can talk about how someone like the Kardashians have contributed to pop culture but these people contributed to our own humanity. The impact these people have had on those they helped will be far reaching beyond what we can even imagine. THAT is the kind of human being I would like to be. It is the kind of human being I would like to encourage others to be, especially my own children.
When I see stories like this, I am reminded that I can do more. I am reminded of our capacity to love one another and I am reminded of what matters. I hope it inspires you as well. What difference can we make is not a reason, it is an excuse and the only thing we are trying to excuse is ourselves, as if our circumstances warrants more compassion than the people who we might help.