I watched a wonderful film the other day, Opening Our Eyes: Global Stories about the Power of One. The movie shows individuals all across the world and close to home who are making a difference. Whether they are opening orphanages and schools in Nepal, providing clean water in Peru, or helping the teen homeless population in Australia these average people are having a major impact in the lives of others. Although their stories are amazing I often find them to be so far away from what I feel I am called or able to do. Could I take my life’s savings and invest it in a community on the other side of the world? Could I stand up to politicians to help those without a voice? Could I have the courage to take on an enormous project? The answer is truthfully no. But there is something I can do.
This movie starts out with a quote from Helen Keller I had never heard before, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” I cannot do everything so I will not refuse to do what I can. What a powerful statement. How often do we see the major issues of the world and feel powerless? How often do we say, “I am just one person what affect can I have?” We cannot do everything, but there is something we can and should do. Look around you. Look in your own backyard. Look at your own family, friends, and community. What is there that you can affect? What is there that you can control? What is it that you can do to make the world just a little bit better? It does not have to be grandiose. One of the other points the Opening Our Eyes movie makes is that it only takes one degree for hot water to turn to boiling. What is that one degree for you? Perhaps it can be helping out a family member or friend in need. Perhaps it is volunteering in your local community. Perhaps it is smiling at the cashier when you are buying groceries. All of this has an impact on our world and how we experience it.
Here are two ways you can make a difference:
- Find ways to volunteer in your local community. Check out HandsOn Suburban Chicago if you are in the Chicagoland area. Hands On is a hub for volunteer activities linking local non-profits with those who want to give back. What I love is that they offer a myriad of ways to give back. If the idea of working a soup kitchen doesn’t interest you, maybe you want to help out by creating a local community garden. Perhaps there is a skill you have like website design or accounting that could be a huge benefit to a non-profit; you can volunteer your time and expertise.
- Host a screening of Opening Our Eyes to inspire those around you. The filmmakers Gail Mooney and Erin Kelly are also looking to film more stories for an additional movie or potentially a television series. If you have connections which could assist them or if you would like to help through a donation, contact these wonderful women.
Share below the ways you are currently or in the future making a difference. What is that thing you will not refuse to do?