The Power of One

Sammy - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on May 30, 2008

One dedicated, passionate person can change the course of history. This has been shown many times throughout history. There are the examples of Martin Luther, who nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the cathedral and sparked a split within Christianity; Emiliano Zapata, who was a major leader in the Mexican Revolution and obtained land rights for indigenous people in the Mexican Constitution; and Gandhi, who renounced all violence and rid India of one of the greatest Empires the world has seen. None of these people are supernatural beings. They all had their doubts and troubles, pain and pleasure. They went through many of the same feelings we all go through. The only thing these people did that makes them stand out is that they overcame those hardships, and spoke out when many were too afraid to do so. An individual alone will accomplish little, but one individual can inspire many to action. That is what these people, and many like them, have done. Knowing this helps me as I go through life, because I know others have faced much worse than I have. When I feel as if everyone is against me, I know that I must hold strong and stand up. If I will not do so, how can I expect others to do what I refuse? Sometimes this is hard. Times when I am talking to several people that have opposing views from me, it can be hard to stand against them, and sometimes I just let it slide for the time being, but don’t wholly give up. I know it is very unlikely that I will be the next leader of a great social movement that betters the lives of many, but that does not make it any less important to stand up and speak out. Not everyone will inspire a nation, but there are the many uncounted voices that inspire a city, a state, or a region, and make life better for those who were oppressed or forgotten. Everyone admires leaders such as these who can inspire with their words and actions and be the conscience for a nation, but when it comes to themselves, people often believe that they could never do something that great. However, by believing that, they make it true. Only by believing that we can make a difference, can we do so. Jesus was only one person, but inspired a religion that now spans the globe due to his call to justice for the poor and moral lifestyles on the part of individuals. It only takes one person to inspire friends and family, and it spreads from there. As Margaret Mead once famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This is a call for all people to not sit by and allow injustice to happen. Silence is acceptance, and acceptance no better than perpetration.