I have a belief that most people harbor a desire to leave a mark in the world, to make a difference. Some people have the circumstances and means to do really huge, great things, like building and funding medical clinics, or schools, or housing programs for those in need. Some people are exceptionally gifted at not only doing good themselves, but at inspiring others to do likewise ( Can you say Oprah's Angel Network?). Wouldn't we all love to be able to do grand things like those?
For most of us, though, the reality of the situation is that we will never do some grandiose thing. Much smaller things are what we have the means to do. It's easy to be tricked into thinking the small things don't mean as much as the big things. Bah!
I am reminded of a story, a thought, and a poem.
A man walked along a beach littered with starfish which were left stranded by the tide. He meandered along stooping frequently to pick up one of the creatures and throw it back out to sea. Another man watched him while he approached from some distance. When the two were near each other the second man asked the first, "Why bother doing that? You can't possibly save them all. There are too many. What difference can your little effort make on a beach so large?"
The first man stooped down to rescue one more. After flinging it to safety he looked into the eyes of his questioner. "It made a difference to that one."
I am only one, but I am one.
I can't do everything, but I can do something.
What I can do, by the grace of God, I will do.
I have wept in the night
With the shortness of sight
That to some other's need made me blind.
But, I have never yet
Felt a tinge a regret
For being a little too kind.
Taking inspiration from some recent experiences, I have decided to make January a month of following the Boy Scout motto of 'Do a Good Turn Daily.' Now, I normally make an effort to be kind to people and be of service to others, so this is not some great I-need-to-overhaul-how-I-live-my-life type of thing. Rather, this is my effort to take the time to notice those who need to be noticed more often, and to do whatever may be within my limited power to encourage or uplift someone else. Following the example of a blog I recently came across, I will be posting daily about my experiences. If you can use a bit of cheer in your day, I invite you to follow along and invite your family and friends to do the same.
I'd love to hear about your own experiences or about things you hear of that others are doing.
Here's to an awesome January.
Also, thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on my 'Share the Bounty' post. There are still three more days to get people to leave comments and up the donation I will make to Heifer International.