Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The power of one

Amazing Grace

A chain of events… hearing the song, much loved by many, remarking upon it, my housemate asked if I knew the story, then loaned me the DVD.

It took two nights to watch it, but as the cover said: an unforgettable true story.

The examples of Livingstone, Florence Nightingale, William Wilberforce (my train of thought was geared towards Great Britain after the movie, which influenced the names that came to mind) and many others, show the power of one.

We often think that we are not important enough, not in the public eye, don’t have sufficient funds, etc. – all excuses: those whom we come to know as “great” are often simple individuals with a passion; a passion that guides their every waking moment; one that leads them to assemble others to their thoughts, to promote laws or improvements through sheer tenacity: Livingstone and his explorations of Africa; Florence Nightingale probably never realized the industry of nurses that followed in her wake, although she founded the first school of nursing upon her return from the Crimean War. And William Wilberforce, the main character in the movie, persevered for 26 years before seeing the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 come to pass, dying just 3 days later.

We read of them in history books, but during their lifetimes they knew more despair and trouble than glory.

So it is also with many whose names were never even entered into a history book. And here is where we can shine: have you ever thought that just by smiling at one person early in your day, that maybe they smiled at others, who in turn smiled at yet others, leaving perhaps a wake of happiness in otherwise sorrowful lives. By just speaking one kind word, you may have lightened someone else's load, making it possible for them to carry on. We probably will none of us be known for extraordinary feats, our histories will remain untold and unwritten, but oh how sad should we not have done what we could.

It takes many drops to fill a lake, yet a lake is just a collection of drops; it takes many feathers to stuff a pillow, yet a pillow is just a collection of feathers; it takes many people to make a city, yet a city is just a collection of people – and the list is unending. Imagine the things that could change, the lives that could be improved if we all, as just one, extended ourselves in any positive direction!

Even the lowly dandelion changes its world one blade at a time.