Anyone who doesn’t believe one person can make a difference only needs to think about today, Christmas day. Two thousand years ago, a child was born among barn animals to a poor, young couple. Two thousand years later, millions around the world pause and reflect on that birth. Much good—and some not-so-good—has been done in that child’s name. Millions of lives have been changed. Christmas day is a good time to note that Jesus was not alone in having had a long-lasting impact on the world into which He was born. Other religious leaders like Mohammed, Confucius, and Buddha have millions of adherents of their own. Then there are those whose impact was not positive: the millions who died as a result of the births of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao are recent examples. While history will remember the names of only a few for millennia, most of us are destined to be remembered only for a short time, for as long as those who knew us are alive. With their deaths comes our final death, of the last memories of who we were. Or does it? Have you had your life changed, even in a small way, by someone you know? Did that impact change your perspective, the way you treated others, or maybe more tangibly choose your life’s direction? If so, that person’s actions were like a stone thrown into a pond, creating ripples over a far greater area than the stone’s surface. It is impossible to know where the ripples you create will stop when you impact someone else’s life. It would do us well to remember that this Christmas day and every day. History may not remember us, but someone else may well remember what we did for them today.
“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.” –Helen Keller