Can We Make a Difference?

Sometimes I sit here and wonder the purpose of everything.  Why are we here?  Why were we created?  Is it all worth it?

I know there are people with simple, glib answers that they think are based on their faith or whatever, but when you stop to really dig, the answers are not nearly so easy to find.

So I ask the question “Can one person really make a difference?”  I think of the man who spends his lialonefe traveling in search of answers only to die old and full of question.  I think of the person who does everything life has to offer only to die with regrets.  I think of the person who has met everyone and been everything to all, and still he dies alone.  I sit here thinking of all of this and really begin to wonder if the pain, humiliation, trials, and work that is life is really going to bear some fruit?

I have traveled to all sorts of places.  I am really lucky for a small-town South Dakota boy, but despite my travels, I still have this insatiable wonderlust that I cannot escape.  I have met thousands of people, but I still yearn to know more, to meet more, to make an impact on more people.  I want to make a difference, but every time I look back at what I have done, all I see is more work to do.

So I guess, I am wondering what it takes to feel fulfilled?  What does it take to fill the emptiness that sometimes lives inside a person?  What does it take to make a difference?  Is it even worth trying to make that difference?

Does it matter what job you do?  Does it matter how many lives you touch?  Does it make a difference if one person shows up to your funeral or a hundred?

If it does not make a difference, if one person cannot make a difference, what does that mean?  What does it mean if you are just a regular guy from the Midwest?

One Love
One God
One Way

Jason

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~ by archangel66 on August 24, 2009.

3 Responses to “Can We Make a Difference?”

  1. Made me think of this story:

    Two men were walking toward each other on an otherwise deserted beach. One man was in his early 20s, the other obviously much older. The smooth damp sand was littered with starfish, washed onto the land during high tide. They were stranded there when the tide ebbed. Thousands of starfish were doomed to die in the warm morning sun.

    The younger man watched the older man pick up starfish one at a time and toss them back into the ocean, giving them a chance to survive. The young man thought, “Why is he doing that? How foolish. He can’t save them all.”
    As they came near one another, the younger one felt compelled to point out to the older man the futility in his action. “You know,” he said, “you can’t save them all. Most of them will die here on the sand. What you are doing really won’t make any difference.” The older man studied the young man for a moment. Then he bent down, picked up a starfish and tossed it into the water. He smiled at the young man and said, “It made a difference to that one.” Then he walked on, picking up starfish and tossing them back into the sea.

  2. Can we make a difference? The answer is “Of course, we can.” However, the better question is “What should we spend our passions and energies making a difference for?” (This answer shapes EVERYTHING else.)

    Most people think they are spending their time, energy, and passion on things that matter to them. However, if you actually made people explain how what they say they believe passionately in relates to how they spend their time and energy, most of them would have to concede their choices reflect ambiguity and conflict. (I can think of dozens of clichéd examples bearing this out.)

    I believe a lot of self delusion has clouded what we say we believe and what we are actually passionate about. Most of us who say we believe something do not actually believe what we say beyond an intellectual level. My question is “Does that really constitute a belief?” In Jewish culture, one does not believe until one does (i.e., acts upon one’s beliefs). In America (as in other modern cultures), our beliefs have become intellectualized and lack the depth of conviction required to stir us to action.

    Back to the question at hand, “Can we make a difference?” Of course we can, but choose wisely your passion for it will consume you. Obviously, investing our time and energy in others is a worthy pursuit regardless of whether we are helping one or thousands. We should not buy into the lie that our actions aren’t worth the investment if they help only a few. God works on all scales–large and small. We cannot fathom the canvas He paints upon. With that reverence, we should seek to make a difference to those whom He has placed near us.

  3. […] Can we make a difference? 2009 September 14 by craigeliot I wrote this in response to a friends blog post: […]

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