One Person Can Make A Difference

I’ve often heard the question asked about whether one person can make a difference. Sometimes it’s about making a localized difference and sometimes about a global one.

The usual response is that, ‘no’, one person cannot make a difference and that it takes many to accomplish a task, especially if it’s a big job.

I know it may seem like the truth that we are small and limited beings and that the world is a great big place.

But there is another truth. One I fully believe in, that you and I are unlimited beings, capable of anything. I believe there is an abundance of inspiration available to us, if we are open to it. And this abundance, once engage, can spread anywhere and everywhere.

I’d like to share an example with you.

It’s a story about one man, Scott Harrison, and his epic life journey. He relates the following on his website describing himself, “After decades of indulging his darkest vices as a nightclub promoter, he declared spiritual, moral and emotional bankruptcy. He spent two years on a hospital ship off the coast of Liberia, saw the effects of dirty water firsthand, and came back to New York City on a mission.”

I don’t think this brief blurb is enough to tell his story. It’s so much bigger and more powerful than this.

A friend suggested I watch a video that Mike Dooley (yes, the Notes From the Universe guy), had on his website to see for myself what Scott was about.

I did.

And for most of it, I cried. At first, I tried to hold the tears back. But then I gave in to the emotions I was feeling and let them run wild.

Scott left his former life and stepped on board a Mercy ship bound for an African nation he didn’t even know existed. He offered to be a photo-journalist and capture images of the folks the doctors helped. The images are stark and terrifying and amazing. The operations performed changed lives, making it possible for the folks who received them to live a more normal life.

At a certain point, Scott decided to visit some of the communities and what he discovered changed his whole world. He could not believe the living conditions, especially the state of their water. He learned that almost all of the sicknesses that plagued the people living there were due to the unclean, germ infested water, which was all they had to drink.

He knew he had to do something about it.

The statistics staggered him, and probably still do.

According to his website (, which I strongly suggest you check out, there are 785 million people in the world who lack access to clean and safe drinking water. That is mind boggling to me. More than twice the population of the United States.

He came back to New York City and began to work on changing that. Since 2006, his organization, Charity:Water, (through 5/8/2021) has funded 64,999 water projects in 29 countries, and has provided clean, safe drinking water to an astounding 1,273,998 people. These are ever changing numbers, since donations keep coming in.

All this from one idea and because of one person taking one step.

Scott has organized things a little differently. His organization follows three principles. Track every dollar given by donors (you can actually see the GPS coordinates of the project you help fund), open transparency and a commitment to 100% of all donations going to fund projects. He’s found a way for (non-project) private donations to fund all of the other costs, so that the water projects receive all of the general donations.

Right now, he’s trying to engage as many people as possible to commit to helping and suggests several ways to go about it. Please consider visiting his site and then follow your heart.

As fantastic as this is, Scott is just one of so many people who take one idea and change the world. Maybe the next one will be you.

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Recently, my wife and I were babysitting our two local grandchildren. Their family lives near a very active train yard and we’re pretty used to all of its noises. The screeching of rail car wheels against the tracks and the loud slamming and banging of train cars being coupled. And, all of the whistles.

But, what we heard last Wednesday went far beyond any of these sounds. It was as if every train car in the yard had suddenly been picked up and smashed into one another in some kind of massive train wreck.

It turns out, it wasn’t trains we heard, it was the wind. It howled and shook the house. It destroyed trees, pulling some enormous giants out by their roots and simply tossing them aside.

The devastation was mind blowing and widespread.

And, of course, the power went out. Went out and stayed out.

Once my wife and I were home it was time to go into action. Time to find all of the flashlights and candles and get out extra blankets for us, plus one for my 96-year-old mom, who stayed with us. Of course, there was one more important thing to remember, don’t open the refrigerator door!

You probably have your own tales to tell about power outages, so you know how the story goes. No heat, no food, no light, no TV or computer. And for us, no cell phone, since we don’t have a car charger.

No communication with the outside world.


The part of me that wasn’t feeling sorry for myself understood this is the way vast portions of the world’s population feel every single day of their lives.

I don’t mean being without electricity, although there are many who exist this way. I mean feeling powerless to have the kind of life they want, for themselves and for their families. Powerless, with no real prospect for that to change. Powerless, and probably, hopeless.

I thought of all the people whose whole world falls apart due to some calamity. Some outside or inside force that shatters their lives.

I thought of those who deal with disease or oppression or racial injustice or malnutrition. The list goes on and on.

I thought, what is my powerlessness compared to theirs?

You might be wondering, what is the message of inspiration here?

Well, part of the answer is found in knowing how our electricity was restored. PEOPLE. Humans reconnecting wires and reestablishing a path for the power to travel.

People working together we are capable of incredible things. We’ve been able to reach out and touch the moon and beyond. We’ve discovered new medicines, saved rain forests, created new ways to harness energy. This list goes on and on too.

People working together we can do amazing things. Perhaps we can even offer hope to the powerless. No doubt, there are a million ways to do this.

Choosing just one can make a difference.

We all can make a difference.

We don’t have to cure everything in the world. But, imagine if one million people did one thing to help restore power.

That too would be mind blowing.