The power of you
I saw that little phrase on a postcard that is advertising an upcoming event for youth at the Milford YMCA. The program is aimed at empowering youth and I’m sure that it will be great. It was the thought behind that little phrase that really caught my attention, mainly because it reinforced a longer quote that I saw recently on the Jack’s Winning Words blog –
“I am the people-the mob-the crowd-the mass. Do you know that all the great work in the world is done by me?” (Carl Sandburg)
Most people go through life never considering the power that they have to change the world around them, maybe because they don’t know how impactful even the small changes that they can accomplish themselves might end up being. After all, how can one little act of kindness that you might perform or one service that you might render for another person or for an organization make all that much difference? Yet we see and hear story after story on the news shows about whole movements taking of or trends being started by the actions of one person – the power of you.
One little girl somewhere in Nowhere, Oklahoma starts collecting pennies to buy candy to send to troops overseas and suddenly everyone everywhere seems to be saving up to send candy, too. A lady in Outthere, Alabama shaves her head to share in the hair-loss experience of her best friend with cancer as she undergoes chemotherapy and suddenly everyone in town seems to show up with a bald pate. There are tons of those stories and theyt all started because of the power one person- the power of you.
In science there is a thing called the Butterfly effect, defined thusly in WikiPedia: In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependency on initial conditions in which a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. That’s a whole mouthful to say that many big events or happenings may be traced back to very small initial causes – the power of you.
Yesterday I wrote about believing in yourself and you will see that others believe in you, too. Today, let’s extend that thought to include believing that you can make a difference; that the things that you do to make the world a better place or to help make someone else’s life better do matter and they do cause change in the world. There are things in life that are hard to see changing, because the changes are so slow or so small, but they do happen and we believe in them. I don’t disbelieve when someone tells me that an iceberg is advancing at 2-3 feet a year down a slope just because I can’t see it move when I stand in front of it, even if I stand there all day. Likewise you may not see a big, dramatic change in the world because you stopped and helped a turtle cross the road, but it did change because of the power of you.
So, each day, as you awake and get ready for the day, remind yourself that you have the power to change the world. You can make someone else happy that day. You can ease a pain or lift a burden from someone. You can choose to happily greet people and engage them in conversation. Maybe some of them were lonely before they met you or they might have been down in the dumps. You had the power to change their lives and you
did. Maybe you can just do a great job at work today, knowing that much needed work got done because you were there and used your power. Maybe you can volunteer today to take food to shut-ins, or collect food for others to distribute or maybe you’ll end up cleaning up after others who have been working, so that the place is ready for tomorrow. Whatever it is, keep in mind that it would not have gotten done without the power of you.
At the end of each day, you should look back over the day and realize how the world is different because you were there. Even if you can only recall a single thing that you did that seemed insignificant at the time, remember the Butterfly effect; perhaps your little act of kindness or sympathy or empathy set of a series of events that whelmed into a torrent of goodness somewhere else and it all happened because of the power of you.
So, power up and face the day my friends; you have a world to change!