This I Believe

Nicole - Newtown, Connecticut
Entered on May 31, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in the number one. So many people these days ignore the number one. It is too small, too insignificant to really matter, right? Wrong. One is possibly the most important number there is. One disaster can unite millions. One corrupt leader can cause the death of millions. One dollar can be the difference between life and death for millions. One decision can affect millions. And one person can make a difference.

So many people out there today have lost their confidence in the number one. Because how can one, small person really change the world? If I do one little good deed today, what good would it do for the state of the world tomorrow? I, one tiny speck of a person on a planet inhabited by billions, am simply one. One is not enough. One does not matter. One can accomplish nothing, they say.

I beg to disagree. What people seem to forget is that one is not zero. Helen Keller once said, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.” People need to understand that the power of one can be superior to the power of thousands. One voice can, truly, make a difference. Look at Martin Luther King, Jr. He was one person, yet he changed the lives of thousands through his quiet acts of protest.

Then look at yourself. Have you ever given someone a compliment? Have you ever volunteered for anything? Have you ever donated your time or money to a worthy cause, no matter how small it may seem? Then you too have changed a life. You, one person in the entire world, have done or said something that meant the entire world to one person. And if that isn’t making a difference, I don’t know what is.

The power of one is truly amazing. When we work for a common cause, we are one; when we unite in a time of trouble, we are one. You feel as if you are but one in millions. You feel simply too small to matter. But you have the endless power of one at your command. It doesn’t matter that you cannot change the entire world with one act of kindness. All that matters is that you are making a difference—no matter how insignificant it may seem—for one other person. Because if the domino effect holds true, you will change the world for so many more people then you could ever imagine.