I Believe One Person Can Make a Difference

Brenda - Gilbert, Arizona
Entered on December 6, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I recognize that mankind isn’t the best at working together, and in many parts of the world our differences are so great, our country is at war. I’m aware that the effects of global warming have become a danger so great to our planet that the future for many endangered species is bleak, which in turn, threatens our own existence as we know it. I’m reminded daily that our economy is in ruins and even the government isn’t really sure what it will take to fix it. It might feel like there is nothing I can do to make any of this better. How can one person make a difference? But I feel it is the BELIEF that ONE person CAN make a difference that will save our world some day.

Thanks to the power of television, radio and the internet, a message can be communicated to millions of people in seconds. I recall being riveted to my television for days, when a few years ago, a very small child got stuck in a well, and because of 24/7 television coverage – the entire world would sweat through every minute of her ordeal. It was the topic of conversation in every office and the focus of prayers in churches around the globe. Experts all over the world called in to offer their assistance. And the whole world cried when she was eventually pulled out. It was the fate of ONE child that pulled us together in our efforts, thoughts and prayers. ONE child made a difference.

In response to growing efforts to stop global warming, NPR’s “All Things Considered” ran a piece on fluorescent light bulbs and a global movement began. Americans were asked to replace one single regular light bulb in their home with a new energy efficient version. According to the EPA, if every American home replaced just one light bulb we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars. ONE person can make a difference.

The gas crisis was choking families with the money they were spending at the pump. The economy is still tanking but yet gas prices have drastically dropped, almost overnight. Why? Because, people – individuals – couldn’t take it anymore. People rode the bus, shared a ride, or biked to work. People started trading in their gas guzzling vehicles for more fuel-efficient ones. The price of gas is more than $2 cheaper per gallon than last year. ONE person can make a difference.

Each new season of American Idol, millions of people all over the world dial an 800 number, sometimes over and over again, to vote for a winner. American Idol gives back by spending one night each season holding a telethon to raise money. They ask everyone to donate what they can. But if we looked at the power of ONE… and multiplied it by the millions of viewers that call in, multiple times… think of the millions of dollars that could be raised if we each agreed to simply pay a nickel for every time we called. ONE person can make a difference.

Lastly, think of the power of one person to motivate another. If that person gets excited about something – he’ll tell someone else. Change has to start somewhere, why not with me? I believe that if I focus on what I CAN do instead of what I can’t… I can make a difference… I can help change the world.