Sometimes I feel paralyzed by all the suffering in the world. There’s simply no way I could make a dent in all the hunger, sickness, poverty, depression, oppression, loneliness, and death. When you look at the brokenness in its entirety, all you see is desolation.
But I have come to understand how that point of view is actually a tricky way to get myself off the hook, and a very selfish mindset. Someone challenged me to “do for one” what I could not do for many. With that mindset, there’s always something I can do.
In the office where I work, I couldn’t help but overhear the struggles of a single mom coworker. Christmas was approaching. She had some funds for gifts coming from grandparents and other sources, but was finding paycheck-to-paycheck living hard with all the extra expenses of the season. My heart broke for her.
That day, I had $40 in my wallet. I penned a quick note, stuffed it all in an envelope, and gave it to her with a “Merry Christmas.” I did it all very quickly, before I could talk myself out of it. I didn’t want to embarrass her, it seemed a small amount, maybe someone else needed it more … Excuses, excuses.
When she opened the envelope she teared up. Someone had met her in her struggle, even if just for a moment. I was happy I had stretched myself a little, but mostly, I was impressed at the impact any of us can have on just one person.
You have a lot of power and resources to lend for “just one.” Imagine the impact we could have if we each took care of just one person within our reach.
In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.—Les Brown (b. 1945)