Skip to main content

See also:

One cup of positve

...however to create the strong wall that will eventually stop the water, it does start with one sandbag.
...however to create the strong wall that will eventually stop the water, it does start with one sandbag.
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

How would you answer the question if your teenager asked can one person make a difference? You can see from his/her expression that he/she is feeling overwhelmed about something happening in his/her life. Maybe he/she is witnessing troubles with a friend, or issues in school or community.
Sometimes you may want to answer this question with a resounding no. For instance, there are many global issues—terrorism, drug addiction, crime—that can seem insurmountable. Your child may take it a step farther and start to believe that he/she can’t accomplish any differences unless he/she had massive power or money. However, there are news stories that warm the heart and make you and your family believes that even little drops can fill an ocean:
• At Valley Oaks Elementary in Texas, there is a man that saw a problem and decided to help out. At his local school, he noticed that there were children that were not able to purchase school lunches because they had overdue accounts. These students started avoiding the lunch room out of embarrassment. Instead of thinking nothing could be done, he decided to pay off all of these students’ accounts. His act of selflessness has made national news, calling him the “Lunch Angel”, and in the process has inspired others to do the same at their local schools.
• A woman took to her blog to write about how Subway sandwiches were using a chemical azodiacarbonamide in their breads. This same chemical can be found in yoga mats. Since 2012, Vani Hari, the writer of the blog had been writing about the dangers of this chemical, and had a petition circulating to remove it from their bread. To drive her point across, she created a video of her taking a bite out of a yoga mat. Now this year Subway, a nationwide chain, made an announcement that they are removing this chemical. With blogs like these, the general public can make informed decisions on what food they eat.

In further answering the original question, a quote from Jesse Owens can help drive the message home even in present time: “Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing in it.”