Thoughtful Thursday: thinking about how we can all make a difference

Earlier this week I read a blog post by Kristine at CandidKay that resonated strongly with me.  I don’t know about you, but the challenges the world is facing – and the way in which the people in charge are facing them – seem so overwhelming that at times I despair.  Kristine’s post reminded me that baby steps and civility can indeed make a difference. It gave me a little bit of reassurance. As she says near the end of her post:

I talk to so many people who want to “boil the ocean.” They talk of the state of our world and feel helpless. What if we each just did what was in front of us to do, to the best of our ability, and cared about the result? I tell my son often to throw things in the recycling bin. “What difference does it make, Mom, when half the world doesn’t?” he says, cynically. And then I remind him that thousands of people doing the right thing adds up. It’s the domino effect at work.

Her post, It All Adds Up, gives several simple examples of how each of us can make a difference to others.  And, my, how badly we need that. Here’s a reblog of her post. I hope you will click on the link that follows this intro, read it through (it’s not too long!), and then think about how you can become one of those examples for someone. Here goes:

Maria made my tiny self look like a towering giant. But the power that barely 5-ft. woman wielded was amazing. The cleaning woman in the Michigan Ave. high-rise office building I worked in decades ago lived, I’m sure, far from the Chicago office tower she cleaned. Her English was limited but she was generous enough to try to teach me a few Polish phrases. I was a 20-something who worked late often, so when she came to clean my office, chances were I was still occupying it.

Maria was a whirlwind who worked hard, her persistent body odor a testament to the physical oomph she put behind her work. Dust bunnies cowered, I’m sure, when they saw her coming.  [… ]

(Click on link to keep reading CandidKay’s It All Adds Up)

It all adds up — candidkay

An article in yesterday’s Guardian provides another excellent example of the power of reaching out to others. Patrick Stewart (aka Jean Luc Picard) pays tribute to a teacher who made that kind of difference to him and changed the direction of his life.  We certainly all owe a vote of thanks to Patrick Stewart’s teacher! Check out A moment that changed me: Patrick Stewart on the teacher who spotted his talent and saved him.

I hope you all are able to make a difference in someone’s life today. It may only require a smile and a kind word.

TT-T-shirt

This entry was posted in Thoughtful Thursday and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Thoughtful Thursday: thinking about how we can all make a difference

  1. “Love the quote on the t-shirt. Thanks for sharing the article.

  2. Roy McCarthy says:

    Kristine’s has a gift of observing the micro aspects of life, inviting others to examine their own experiences and to reach out towards the best of them. I did like that story related by Patrick Stewart.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      She does indeed. I’m glad you enjoyed Patrick Stewart’s piece as well. What an excellent example of the kind of difference a teacher can make to a student, or anyone to anyone else – like someone coaching runners, for instance!

  3. Great posts, Jane. I’ve always been a firm believer that baby steps and doing the best we can with what we have goes a long way. Despite the doom and gloom, there are also inspiring news reports about people who are making a difference in all sorts of positive ways, though none of them are politicians. Anyway, I’m still encouraged.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thank you, Debra. You have the right outlook, all right. I’m afraid I’ve been despairing a fair bit lately. Time to look beyond the political news and embrace the positive. Embrace it and exemplify it.

  4. Still trying to be my best human.

  5. BernieLynne says:

    This fits the bill of my hanging all our clothes and rarely using the dryer. It’s not an impact that can be measured in money saved or a lower bill. I just have to know that this one little step does help. And Saturday we are car shopping for a hybrid (we feel full electric is still a little ways away when we already travel 9 hours to get there adding 2 to 4 charging hours (if we could find a station) into the trip just doesn’t work).

  6. LiziRose says:

    Thank you for sharing this, it’s so easy to get into a state of hopelessness about the world and the environment. I try to look at recycling or things like that, as a way to live up to my personal standards and always “do my best”, not worrying about whether it’s going to make an impact or not. But it’s nice to daydream about the domino affect and hope it WILL all add up. 🙂

  7. You bet! I struggle with this every day. How can I, as an individual, ever make a difference. I’ve written about it, too. In the end, I’ve decided I have to live in accord with my principles. To do otherwise just doesn’t make sense to me. Thanks for the link to the blog “It All Adds Up.”

    • Jane Fritz says:

      You sum it up perfectly, Laurie, the inner conflict over wanting to have what we do to make a difference make MORE of a difference and so sometimes thinking, “why bother”. Somehow we have to act on our principles but also manage our expectations of ourselves. Maybe the answer is in the ripple effect, having more and more people act according to similar principles. Even just showing kindness to others.

  8. The Widow Badass says:

    Thank you for reminding me that the so-called “small”, individual efforts can add up to make a big difference. Sometimes I get discouraged, especially when I get out in the wild and see the garbage left behind by other humans…I wonder why I even bother to do the things I do to respect the planet. What will my puny efforts really achieve when so many others are doing this shit to our beautiful wild spaces??? I’m putting an empty bag in my daypack next time, so I can pack out other people’s garbage as I come across it. My only fear is that one bag per hike will not be enough. Ah well, all the little things do eventually add up as you and Kristine so eloquently put it.

    Deb

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Wow, Deb, you are already walking the talk. I know exactly what you mean about sometimes getting discouraged. I think that’s what resonated with me in Kristine’s post, it reminded that just doing what you can do DOES make a difference. One small step towards making our world a better place. 😊

  9. candidkay says:

    I’m honored my post inspired you! Thank you for your kind words and for sharing it with others. I do believe you’ve just helped the ripple effect for good😊!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.