Today’s thoughts for the day come from two quotes that I first saw on the Jack’s Winning Words blog –
“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would solve most of the world’s problems.” (Gandhi)
– and –
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” (Dr. Seuss)
A good number of the world’s problems that Gandhi was talking about go unresolved because no one cares a whole awful lot and thus they don’t even try to solve them. Sometimes it’s because we have a tendency to see big issues or problems, like world hunger, and think, “What could one little person like me do about that?” We don’t see a way to make our small contribution or think that it would even matter against such a big problem. Yet it was one little person who cared who started programs like Gleaners. In the Detroit area that one person was Gene Gonya. From the Detroit Gleaners site comes this background story –
Born in 1940, Gene Gonya grew up on the family farm in Ohio. At age 19, he became a Brother in the Jesuit Religious Community believing in their motto of “doing all for the greater honor and glory of God.”
In 1977, Gene chose to leave the Jesuit Community and continue his mission of community service as a lay person of the Catholic Church. In April of 1977, he co-founded Gleaners Community Food Bank, renting the first floor of a warehouse on Detroit’s near-eastside, a stone’s throw from the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. The food bank was founded to solicit surplus food, store it safely, and distribute it to agencies that are the direct providers to the hungry of our communities. The food bank could now accept donations such as truckloads of produce from Gene’s family farm and “bank” it for small or large organizations serving the community, since none of these service agencies could accept such large donations.
Gleaners in Detroit was among the first food banks in the United States. Several years after founding Gleaners, Gene and a few other food banks founded Second Harvest, a national network of food bank members (now called Feeding America). Gene also helped found the Food Bank Council of Michigan.
Gene was a person who cared a whole awful lot.
Almost every good thing starts with someone who cares enough to take action. Sometimes that’s the extent of it, but many times others join in and before you know it a movement or trend is born. Sometimes you can join groups who already have work in progress, like the Rotary Clubs which are waging a campaign to wipe out polio on the planet, and make your contribution to the effort. Sometimes you have to start the group. It all starts with someone who cares an awful lot. The good news is found in what Gandhi said – we can accomplish a lot more than we believe we can, if we just take action. I wrote a post here about the fact that many are called but few get up, so to steal a line from the Marines and adapt it a bit; be one of the few, the proud the ones that got up and did something. Be one of the ones who cared a whole awful lot.
Find your place to help this week. Show that you care and show the world what you are capable of. Have a great week!