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Making a difference

May 23, 2016

Most of us want to feel and believe that we are making a difference.  Whether through our work or our personal lives (or both), we want to feel we are having a positive impact on others, our neighbourhoods, and our world.

The challenge is that 99.9% (again not a real statistic) of the time, the impact we have does not happen all at once.  It’s not one big fabulous moment that leaves others saying “wow, you changed my life” or “wow, you just changed the world”.   Rather much of how we impact others and make a difference is in small, cumulative ways.  We easily forget that what we do in the short run will have a huge impact in the long run.  It’s in the daily kind words to a strangers, it’s going to work each day and doing your work with passion and caring, it’s modelling to your children each day what it means to be a fair and active citizen.

There isn’t a lot of glory in these small but consistent actions; but a tsunami is rare and generally not a desirable way to change the shoreline.  In the long run, the small continual regular old waves will also shape the shoreline and these kinds of waves allow the rest of the world to adapt and respond along with the slow change.   The news media might not cover your story and it might not be considered worthy of a 2 hour movie, but never question for a minute that your on-going efforts and actions aren’t making a difference.

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