“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” ― Nelson Mandela
That saying by Nelson Mandela epitomizes how he lived his life and the legacy of his struggles for freedom and democracy in South Africa that he leaves behind will forever be a testimony to the differences he made in the lives of others. I have been fortunate enough to have lived during the time of at least three great civl rights leaders who made significant differences in the lives of their people – Mahatma Gandi, Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.
Most of us will never be involved in such public and important efforts or movements and certainly not in starring roles; however, every one of us will many opportunities, perhaps each day, to make a difference in someone’s life. Think of all the little things that you do or could do to help others. Things as small as holding a door open or dropping a dollar into the red kettle outside a store make a difference. Sharing a kind word with someone or reaching out to someone who is ill or depressed or just lonely, makes a difference.
There are so many opportunities all around us to do things that make a difference in our communities – food banks and food delivery services for the needy or shut-in that need volunteers, pet rescue services, counseling services and fostering or mentoring services for children, the list goes on and on. Mandela had another saying that was featured in this morning’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog –
“We must realize that the time is always ripe to do the right.” (Nelson Mandela)
The fact is that the only thing holding you back from making a difference in lots of people’s lives is you. If you want to make a difference get up and get out and do it. Nelson Mandela made a difference in the lives of others and you can, too.