You Can Make A Difference, Yes You
Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.
– Marianne Williamson, American activist, author, lecturer and founder of The Peace Alliance (b. 1952)
Big words. Few of us really believe we can change the world. Some of us don’t try because we aren’t sure how we would change it. Those people believe the propaganda they have been fed that they live in the best possible world, despite its problems, its unfairness, its warts.
Many don’t try to change anything because they believe the world is too huge to change. Nearly seven billion people could not be reached with any message. How many people in the world today have never heard of Elvis Presley, even though he died 33 years ago? If they have heard his name it’s likely because they have heard some of his music. Michael Jackson’s name is almost as well known and for the same reason. Even the name Barack Obama is known by many people in almost every country in the world. And he hasn’t recorded any music.
Of course these are exceptional people. We would expect them to influence others to an exceptional degree. None of these men steered their lives away from trouble or controversy by not conveying their message to others they could reach.
You make the road by walking on it.
– Nicaraguan saying
We make change by influencing one person at a time, not crowds or multitudes. Biblical Abraham and the Prophet Mohammed were already tribal leaders when they become religious leaders. Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t. Tradition has it that he was an impoverished vagrant that depended on the largess of others he interested and entertained with his words. Yet he kept speaking those words to many people, a few at a time, until he was stopped. Even though not many of his words remain in print, some are and the man is remembered as much for his message as for his birth and death.
We don’t have to gather crowds at major city intersections or in arenas to convey whatever message we want to say to others. We just have to say it to people, even if it’s one at a time.
How many people had their lives changed by Jesus? We don’t know for certain. His personal posse consisted of just over a dozen people and no doubt they only gathered to follow him to his various speaking engagements once in a while. The rest of the time he spoke with individuals he met and with friends.
I have a message I want to spread around the world. I do it through my articles, my web site, Facebook and the people I speak with in my daily life. It’s an important message about how to improve the lives of children by improving what teachers and parents know about raising kids and about their needs.
I will never reach seven billion people. But I reached you. And you talk to people.
If you have a message of your own, talk it up with people you know and people you meet. Find out about my message, in my book, and talk about it too. Everyone talks about kids and social problems in their communities and in the world, so the topic interests everyone. So tell them. They’ll listen because they are interested in the topic.
You can only do good. People on every continent are talking about Turning It Around and the TIA plan today. You won’t be starting any revolution. You won’t be crucified. You may be remembered for an important message you passed to someone who really began to care, who really believes that the message is worthwhile, who really can make a big difference. Someone who can improve the life of a child, or many of them.
As the Nicaraguan saying suggests, make the road by walking it. Eventually you will be a hero for spreading such an important and memorable message.
Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, an easy-to-read guide for parents, for teachers, for everyone, about the needs children have that, when met, make them confident and worthwhile adults. Messages don’t get more important than this one.
Learn more at http://billallin.com