How many times have you thought if what you do makes a difference? I know I’m guilty of that. Many of us go through life doing little things and we don’t think much about the impact that these deeds can have.
Once upon a time, there was an older woman, perhaps in her mid 60’s, who not very many knew about. She lived all by herself in a small apartment right by a lake in a suburb of a small town. It was a beautiful and quiet lake surrounded by flowers and trees, and a nice running track, so there were people jogging most every morning.
Because of her old age, this lady could not jog anymore. It was obvious that she had difficulty walking but despite the hardship, she managed to walk up to a bench and sat by the lake every morning. Some joggers said that she use to carry a small cage with her and put it by her feet while she looked at the horizon for a while. Others saw her at a distance ‘doing something’ on her lap, but no one got close enough to see what she was doing.
One day, a young jogger decided to stop by the bench and sit with her for a bit. As she approached, she saw 4 little turtles in the cage – unharmed – and one more on the old lady’s lap. She was carefully scrubbing it with a sponge. “Hello,” she said. “I’ve seen you here often. I hope you don’t mind my curiosity but what are you doing to the turtle?”
The old lady looked up at the young gal and smiled. “I’m scrubing her shell,” she said. “You see, turtles get algae and scum stuck on their shells and it can get heavy. It prevents them from swimming freely. Also, this algae acts like a barrier and they cannot absorb heat through their shells, something that’s necessary for them to survive. Their shells can even get bacteria, weaken and desintegrate over time.”
The young gal was perplexed, as the old lady continued… “I come here every morning to clean the shells of a few of them, the ones that are brave enough to come close, where I lay a few leaves of lettuce on the cage to attract them.”
“You are so kind and compassionate – the young gal said – but do you realize there are millions of sweet water turtles in lakes all around the world? Don’t they all live with scum and algae on their shells?”
The old lady giggled… “You are abslutely right!”
“So, how exactly are you making a difference? I mean, don’t get me wrong. What you are doing is beautiful but you’re just helping a minute number of turtles.”
The old lady looked at her and smiled… then she took the clean turtle on her lap between her two hands and put her gently on the floor, and she picked another one, and said, “Honey, if these little creatures could talk, they’d thank me and also tell you how I just made all the difference in their world.”
The moral of this story is that each one of us has the power to make a difference and change the world, perhaps not all of it at once, but one good deed at a time. There are plenty of people and animals -and even plants- that need your help in one way or another. Many would feel eternally grateful if you helped them even if with a small gesture, because what you do makes a difference, always!
Think about the person who rescued a dog and the one that finds him a new home. Think about the hungry child of an under-developed country who counts on the passing pedestrian to receive a few coins. Think about your exhausted partner and your offer to cook dinner. Think about your stressed co-worker and lend them a hand. Think about your old friend who broke his leg and cannot mow his lawn. You get the idea!
From the metaphysical viewpoint, making a difference creates a sow and reap effect. You will start noticing more good things happening in your life. You will be more content and positive and you will feel healthier. You will laugh more often and you will feel more fulfilled.
There are opportunities to make a positive difference in the world every day, everywhere you look and everywhere you go. Don’t doubt your power. Wake up every morning knowing that you can contribute to someone’s life, and do something no matter how small it looks to you. Know that you will be making someone’s life better, because you will. What you do makes a difference!
What have you done to make a difference in someone’s life? How have you felt? What would you do today to make a positive difference in the world around you? Please share in the space below. Thank you!!