This I Believe

Marie - Renton, Washington
Entered on June 19, 2007

Change the World

I am not here to impose my belief of a faith, absence of it, or any other religious philosophical viewpoint. Instead I am here to express something that applies to everyone, religious or atheist, rich or poor, young or old, and that is that I know every person can make a difference in the world.

So many people tell themselves that there are over 6 billion people in the world, so who am I to make a difference? After all I’m just one person. It’s true you are just one person but one person has the power to influence thousands over their lifetime. Do you think that Martin Luther King Jr. was somehow more than “one person”? No, he wasn’t. He was just one man who realized he could make a difference. He decided to not ignore the problems that needed to be changed and instead to act upon them. One ordinary man changed the world. One man who is just like you and me.

As Nelson Mandela said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure… We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous [or to change the world]? Actually who are you not to be… Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.” After all what can playing small do for the world? You can’t possibly think there is anything good that comes of it because there most certainly isn’t.

My father works with kids at a juvenile rehabilitation center. It can often be discouraging for him because many times the kids seem to get nowhere. He hardly ever gets to see the positive effect of his labor because he doesn’t know what happens to the kids once they leave. However one time he was contacted by a lady and then she continued to recount this story. She had been at a seniors senior project presentation where the graduate was speaking and giving a presentation. This young kid was a former juvenile criminal who was getting deeper and deeper into crime when he had his life turned around by counselors at juvy. It turns out one of his inspiring counselors was my dad. Now this kid was using his life to help kids going through the same thing he had and changing their lifes. One act my dad didn’t even realize he had done has now in turn influenced one person who is now using it to influence hundreds.

I firmly believe that everyone in the world has the power to change lives including you and me. This I believe