American Futurist, systems theorist, and author Buckminister Fuller wrote, “Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.”
You can make a difference in the world no matter where you live, no matter how old you are, no matter where you work or go to school. You can make a difference in the community you live in and in the life of another.
Making a difference simply means that you look at a problem or need and come up with a solution. Perhaps you see something that you know in your heart needs improvement and you make a decision to volunteer your time for a worthy cause. Some people who make a difference impact the lives of millions. Some who make a difference impact the lives of a few. Whether it is many or just one, the main thing is that you are offering your service to help another. You can volunteer your time to help a child learn to read; walk a dog or play with a cat at the humane society; assist a woman at a shelter who needs to be protected from a violent marriage partner; drive an elder to the market to purchase groceries or to a doctor’s appointment.
When you look at people throughout history who have made a difference, you might first think of those who have received Nobel prizes for chemistry, physics, literature, peace, or medicine. These are the biggies, or so it seems. Have you thought lately about the amazing services and life changing inventions that we often take for granted? Walt Disney transformed the film industry with animation and a bashful character named Mickey Mouse; Mother Teresa fed the hungry and tended to the sick on seven continents; Bill Gates revolutionized the computer industry. But equally important are the gifted teachers who inspire their students to make their lives count; the retired business owner who motivates the teenager he mentors; the volunteers who bring smiles to the faces of homebound seniors they are delivering meals to; those who passionately work towards the humane treatment of animals; or master gardeners who beautiful the towns they live in.
Be the one who brings comfort to the life of another. Begin thinking about the simple things you can do to become an important player in your community. Become solution oriented rather than problem focused, looking for the good in situations rather than blaming or finding fault. Encourage rather than discourage. Greet each person you come into contact with throughout the day with a warm and inviting smile. This little gesture will certainly mark the beginning of making a difference.
John Tamiazzo, PhD is the Executive Director of the Verde Valley Humane Society. He invites you to visit the Humane Society to look at all the wonderful dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens.