Monday, February 21, 2011

One person...


Yesterday’s item about Tank Man raises an age old question: can one person make a difference?

Edward Everett Hale (1822 – 1909), American author, historian and clergyman, once wrote:

"I am only one,
but still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but still I can do something;
and because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do something I can do."

Those words are an encouragement to a person making an attempt but realistically can anything be achieved by a single person?

Buddha said “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

Another simple story also addresses the issue:

Early one evening a man was walking along a beach when he saw a boy picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. The man asked the boy why he was doing this. The boy explained the starfish would die if left to the morning. The man asked the boy, "What difference will your efforts make when there are thousands of starfish on the beach?" The boy stopped and looked at the starfish he was holding and said, "It will make a difference to this one."

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