June 23, 2019: Making A Difference
“Never underestimate the valuable and important difference you make in every life you touch for the impact you make today has a powerful rippling effect on every tomorrow.” Leon Brown
My husband Ron hikes with our two golden retrievers every day. He carries a backpack and along the way, he picks up bottles and cans careless people have thrown out of their cars. He started back last October, and today we dropped them off at a redemption center near our camp in northern Maine. There were six tubs filled to the top, a small dent when you consider the amount of trash that is tossed out of car windows, but it was 715 less bottles and cans that littered our pathways and roads.
On our way back, we stopped at a local garden center to purchase some flowers. While we were there, a large burly man in a raggedy work shirt came in to return some plastic trays. He proceeded to tell the story of how he had just rescued a female snapping turtle the day before. Apparently she had tried to lay her eggs in his wife’s garden. He moved mama turtle back to the pond across the road, but she proceeded to head back over the pavement. He was worried that the turtle was in danger of being struck by a car, so he loaded her up (staying away from her powerful jaws) and moved her to a pond down the road. His friends questioned him, “why didn’t he just kill her?”. His reply was that the turtle was just trying to do her job and needed a helping hand.
Two separate incidences where simple actions made a difference. In a world, where too often all we hear is how dangerous, difficult and trouble filled our society can be, we can forget that we actually can make a difference and change things for the better. It might be as little as taking the time to call a friend who is going through a difficult time, or as challenging as when my 80 year old Aunt Marylou tutored women prisoners to read. But ultimately each positive action does make a difference. The difference might seem inconsequential at the time, but like a ripple in a pond, the effects continue on through the days and lives of others.
In our busy lives, we can often feel overloaded and overwhelmed with the impression that we can’t add on one more thing to do. But a mindset that is open to the question,”how can I make a difference” opens doors and opportunities for positive change. In searching for a quote to include with this blog, I was inspired by the wise words from a variety of voices transcending through time. Each one profoundly believed, like I do, that we can make a difference in this chaotic world of ours.
Here are some of the quotes that inspired me. If you have any other ones, please feel free to share.
Making A Difference
1. “Act as if what you do makes a difference, it does.” William James
2. “Believe that what you do matters and will make a difference in people’s lives. You don’t have to save the world in one stroke but you can make a difference one person at a time.” Anonymous
3.”There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.” Mary Rose McGeady
4. “In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa
5. “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in our hands to make a difference.” Nelson Mandela
6. “There is no greater reward than working from your heart, and making a difference in the world.” Carlos Santana
7.“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall
8.“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Ghandi
9. “We won’t always know whose lives we touched and made better for our having cared, because actions sometimes have unforeseen ramifications. What’s important is that you do care and you act.” Charlotte Lunsford
10.“To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful, or perfect. You just have to care enough and be there.” Anonymous