The Power of One.

Can one person make a difference? Of course – in fact, it’s hard not to.

We each have our own ideas of what “making a difference” means and what it looks like. Sometimes “making a difference” brings to mind grand acts like building a hospital, saving a life, or running for public office. Ideas like these can make one’s own ability to make a difference feel out of reach – and keep you from seeing how much of a difference you actually make every day. 

Because making a difference really just means having a good effect on a person or situation. Sometimes you might not know the difference you have made to someone. But you can make a difference without ever being told that you are, without ever seeing the impact of your choices, words or actions.

It is important to remember that simple, kind actions can have a significant impact on someone, changing their day or even their life for the better.  And it may even create a butterfly effect that reaches others in a positive way, making their worlds a little bit better, too.

Here are some simple, but powerful ways you can make a difference today:

  • Smile at someone, even if you don’t know them. Our world has become a lonely place for many, and a simple smile can help someone feel cared for and less alone. Smiles are contagious!
  • Offer a listening ear to someone who needs to talk. We all need feel heard by someone who doesn’t judge, advise, or problem-solve. It is a true kindness to listen to another with support and empathy.
  • Donate to a cause that matters to you. Even small monthly contributions can add up quickly to make a tremendous difference to a charitable organization, and without strain to your finances. Consider using the power of social media to “crowdfund” for your favorite charity. Facebook, for example, makes it easy to set up fundraisers for nonprofits, and all funds go to the charity you choose.
  • Volunteer locally. Many agencies rely on volunteers to help with everything from clerical tasks to spending time with children and families. Giving just a few hours of your time once, or weekly, or anything in between, will create positive changes in the community.

Remember, if you still feel like there’s nothing you can do to make a huge difference, take a moment to count all of the “small” choices, words, and actions you bring to the world every day – that is the power of one.