“One person making a difference for one other person will begin to change the world!”
I finally realized tonight what Power of One truly means.
I just returned from
Our main service project was at The Elephant Nature Park in
I was glad to see that this message hit home with each and every one of our high school students. In our closing circle, the students explained the ways that they were going to reevaluate their lives and values when they returned home to the
No matter what circumstances each of these individuals faced, by traveling many miles across the globe, each was able to look back at his/her life at home and reevaluate it from a new unattached perspective. By separating themselves from all of their previous views and beliefs, and in a way being forcefully shoved outside their original box of possibilities, they were able to radically reinterpret their own lives.
I believe that this is the experience and opportunity that we need to give young adults in order to help them shift the paradigms of the future. Given the normal course of events without travel and new cultural experiences, students will develop habits, patterns, and ways of being to which they will have no comparison. And even worse, they will have no alternate perspective from which to look back at their lives, their communities and themselves. In order for them to be the agents of change in this world, we need to provide them with an outlet to experientially understand possibility. We need to allow them understand that there may be more to the world than the reality that they currently live in and the circle of influence in which they currently operate.
This trip also provided me with personal growth through a drastic shift of perspective in my own life. When I drove across the country this past fall, I learned a lot about the
And interestingly, it was through this understanding of the vastness of nature and the vastness of the global community that I realized I needed to begin by making an impact on a much smaller scale. (…at least for the immediate future…) I will be able to find satisfaction and fulfillment by simply affecting the lives of the people around me. And if it is just one person and one relationship, then so be it!
Fortunately, being a member of the 47 person group that traveled to
So the message and the lesson is this: Your reality is as small or as big as you want it to be. If it is demeaning to think of it as small or daunting to think of it as big, then shift your perspective. You can only be who you are. And furthermore, understand that who you are will inevitably make a difference in this world. By acknowledging this difference internally you will get more satisfaction and fulfillment in your life. Your difference can be creating a new paradigm for green construction, volunteering your time at a homeless shelter, saving elephants in Thailand, donating money to good cause, eliciting a smile from your neighbor, or picking up a piece of trash on the street. We live in one large interconnected community; every action has a reaction and every cause has an effect. Your small difference will have a much larger impact even if that impact never directly reveals itself to you! Take a moment to be the observer and evaluate your life as these high school students did. You only need to affect one person to begin to change the world, and, ironically, that one person can even be you!
Be a Power of One!