My personal mantra for years has been, “Be a Difference Maker”. I grew up believing each of us can and should make a difference in the world. I’ve spoken and written on the fact that while individually you can’t change THE world, you can change YOUR world.
My youngest graduated high school recently and I was reminded of a lesson she taught me.
On a father-daughter trip to New Orleans one December a few years ago we found ourselves at a stop light near an underpass when we saw a disabled, obviously homeless man standing near the corner. A passing car threw a piece of fruit out their window for him and he hobbled over—using a piece of wood for a crutch and quickly picked it up.
My then 17-year old turned to me—tears in her eyes—and said, “That’s SO sad!”
I explained to her that sadly a lot of people in this country live like that and it was an opportunity for her to count her blessings.
“We have to help him,” she said.
OK, Mr. Difference Maker…what are you going to do?
Instead of hitting the onramp and leaving this sad situation in our rear view mirror, I had my daughter punch up a local fast food restaurant in the navigation system and turned around and headed back into the city.
Maybe five or six miles out of our way she ran inside and purchased a couple of sausage biscuits and a carton of milk. We stuck a few dollars in the bag and backtracked to the underpass.
Luckily, our new friend was still there. I stopped dead still in traffic as my youngest jumped out of the car and took him the still-warm food.
“Merry Christmas! Enjoy this and please stay warm and safe,” she told him.
As she returned to the car and jumped in she had tears streaming down her face.
“He just smiled SO big! He was so happy.”
I did my best to keep something from getting into my eye as I pulled onto the onramp and reached over and put my arm around my daughter.
She’s a Difference Maker. She has a huge heart and I couldn’t have been more proud of her. She is going to make an impact on this world—I have no doubt.
The lesson here is to notice opportunities; they’re everywhere. And for less than $10 YOU CAN change THE world of another human.
Now, go find a way for YOU to make a difference.