Tuesday, May 8, 2012

12 Things: Making a Difference


3. I am making a difference.

It is a lie we tell ourselves, and teach our children, that only the big things matter.  And how could they not believe it? We fill our newspapers, news programs, tabloids, internet feeds with all the big things. You want to be important? Become an actress, a musician, a sports star.  Feed 2000. Get a Nobel Peace Prize.  Why, it's only on the "slow news days" that I remember the human interest stories ever reaching the airwaves when I was a child, and with the globalization of information, it's even worse today.  That fact teaches us something. "Small stories are unimportant."

Only they're not, and it's time we start remembering that.  Your small story plus my small story plus the small stories of all the people around us?  They add up to something big and amazing and beautiful. We should be proud of small stories.

If you asked me if I'm making a difference, my instinct might be to say "No." There are writers who have far more impact than I do... authors with best-seller books, bloggers with far larger subscriber bases. Mothers with more children involved in more activities. Women with a wider reach of friendships.  It is easy to look at them and the impact they have... and then look at myself, and think "I'm not making a difference at all."

Only that's a lie.

Different people have different spheres of influence.  Some people have bigger spheres than others...  but for the people who are inside those spheres, does it really matter which one is bigger or smaller?  To those people impacted by the person with the smaller one, it doesn't matter that the impacter has a smaller sphere.  To those people, it only matters that they are IN it.  What would happen if that impacting person said, "You know what... I am not as big as So-and-So.  What I can do isn't as important or worthy, so I'm just going to stop doing it."

Be proud of where you are right now. Be proud of what you can do and who you can touch.  Maybe you can't touch 5000 people.  But, today, you can touch at least one.  It's the starfish story, I suppose.  Maybe you can't make a difference in everyone's life.  But you can make a difference in ONE's life.  And isn't that important?

So, ask me again.  "Are you making a difference?"

Yes.  A billion times, yes.

6 comments:

  1. Oh, you know the thought I just had?? That when we are reaching a person the circle is just two! Us and the person. And THAT is both the SMALLEST circle of influence and the DEEPEST circle of influence! It makes me think of Brave Girls' post today. Did you read it? It's all about taking care of the one.

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  2. Well, I haven't made a difference a billion times yet, but I'm working on it.

    But you've got it exactly right. Although you may hope to touch or influence more people, just the fact that you do is something to take pride in.

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  3. George MacDonald, whom most people have never heard, had a huge impact. Tolkien and Lewis were both heavily influenced by him, so, if he had never written, we may have never had Narnia or Middle Earth.

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  4. With every book I read, some minute or bigger difference has been made. Thanks for the visit.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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  5. We never know who we've reached - ever increasing ripples and we may never know who we've touched.

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