Can One Person Change Their World?


As the plane exits the clouds and begins its descent into the Los Angeles area the city opens up beneath us.  I point out important landmarks to my kids who are seated next to me.  The Staples center is obvious with its bright red roof, and my son, a diehard Lakers’ fan points it out.  On a clear day the city almost sparkles with its buildings made of cement and glass.  It looks so much better from the sky.  With the entire landscape open for the eye to appreciate, it looks beautiful and glamorous.  The view from the street is not exactly the same.


The streets of the city are full of graffiti, crime, homelessness, brokenness and need; and in LA, the city is viewed from a vehicle.  No one walks in LA.  Yet, even from the windows of an air conditioned vehicle speeding through the metropolis the need is obvious.

The world is full of people in need.

It does not only exist in the larger cities.  It is everywhere.  Almost every corner of Eugene is blanketed with signs petitioning all drivers for help.

“Hungry, anything helps.”

“Single mother with four kids.  Please help.”

“Short $52.00 for rent money.”

“Just need some money for beer.”

The need assaults our senses constantly.  Have we become blind to it?  Do we even see the signs anymore?  Sometimes the problem seems too big and the need too great for a single person to have any impact at all.  It becomes overwhelming and instead of entering into the need we avoid it.  I am guilty of looking the other direction when faced with the sign in my windshield.  I have picked up my phone at a light and checked my messages.  Anything to stay unengaged with the world around me.

Can one person really change their world?


Let’s see…Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther, Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, Jesus Christ etc.  The list could go on and on.

We all have the ability to influence the world for good.  We can decide to make a difference by helping one person.  We can change our world by giving to one person in need or assisting one child who needs a friend.  Not all of us can adopt a foster child, but all of us can give of our time, our money, our talents.

We can’t all give everything, but we can all give something.

“Images courtesy of {Michal Marcol, Salvatore Vuono}/”