The Power of One: Making a Difference - Glasshouse Christian College

The Power of One: Making a Difference

  • June 6, 2024

The Power of One: Making a Difference

Have you ever felt powerless? You see decisions made by our politicians or lawmakers and wonder if common sense went out the window with the 80s fashion faux pas? Or you watch TV and see war and destruction on the news or charity ads for children in Africa. It can be overwhelming and the more we see, the more powerless we can feel. 

There is power in large numbers of people gathering or working for a cause but most of the movements in the world began with just one person.

The Power of One Throughout History

Rosa Parks: 42 years old

We have famous examples like Rosa Parks whose singular act of defiance on a Montgomery bus in 1955 became a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement. By refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger, she challenged systemic racism and sparked a movement that led to significant advancements in equality and justice. 

Malala Yousafzai: 11 years old

There are quite a few books in our GCC library about a young girl who made a huge difference in educating girls in Pakistan. Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban because she spoke publicly on behalf of girls’ right to be educated. After her long recovery, Malala could choose to live a quiet life in her new home in the UK or continue to fight until every girl could go to school. Malala chose to fight and became the youngest-ever Nobel laureate. 

The Power of the Lesser-Known Ones

Ryan Hreljac: Six years old

You may not have heard of Ryan Hreljac but he was just six years old when he learned that many people in Africa did not have access to clean water. Ryan began doing extra chores to raise money to build a well in Uganda.

This led to the founding of Ryan’s Well Foundation which has since brought clean water to more than a million people in many countries. 

Alex Scott: Four years old

Alexandra “Alex” Scott was diagnosed with neuroblastoma before her first birthday. At the age of four, she decided to set up a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer research. Alex’s first stand raised $2000 and by the time she sadly passed away at the age of eight, she had raised more than one million dollars. Since then her legacy continues through a foundation that has raised millions more for cancer research. 

Boyan Slat: 18 years old

Boyan Slat founded The Ocean Cleanup project at the age of 18. He was even younger when the amount of plastic pollution in the oceans disturbed him so much he invented and developed a system to clean up what he called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 

Jadave Payeng: 16 years old

Believe it or not, it was a large number of dead snakes that motivated this young Indian man to begin planting seedlings on a tree-less sand bar. Jadav saw that the snakes had died from heat exposure and wanted to make a change. He was an ordinary man who began planting in 1979 and today there is a forest that spans more than 1,360 acres and is home to a variety of wildlife.

Ordinary Everyday Heroes

These people are well-known now but they began in obscurity and there are hundreds of thousands of others still working behind the scenes to make the world a better place. From the examples above, we can see that age, wealth, health and country of origin are no barriers to becoming someone who has significantly changed the world for the better. 

This is exciting to realise; it means that we have the same potential as anyone else to make a difference. We are not powerless and we can make an impact. 

Tiny Actions that Make a Big Difference

There are tiny things that everyone can do to make a difference. Last week about 5pm I saw in the distance a Senior School student walking through campus with no idea anyone was watching him. He bent down and picked up a piece of rubbish and then put it in the bin. It’s a little thing but it made my day to see a student act so responsibly when no one was looking.

Smiling at other people, sitting next to someone who is by themself in the playground, picking up rubbish when you see it, and being grateful to others – these are tiny things that we are all capable of. The end result of these small actions if everyone did them would be a beautiful clean campus, no one ever being lonely during lunch break and everyone feeling appreciated. That is huge!

Compassion Week

Next week is Compassion Week. The Primary students are holding a Pizza and Popper Day on Friday 14 June. The funds go towards our Compassion children and it is an ideal time to highlight the good work the organisation does.

You might send money weekly to support these children or every now and again when you remember. Every dollar makes a difference and that is a difference you are making. 

Compassion Australia currently supports 120,000 children to access education, health care and encouragement to become economically self-supporting when they grow up. Your donation is directly helping a child in poverty. 

Compassion Week is also the perfect opportunity for our students to give from their own pocket money and learn about those in need. They literally learn compassion by supporting Compassion. Please encourage your children to do extra chores to help support children in need and make a difference in their world. 

The Power of the Cost

Making an impact costs something. It might be a few dollars for the Pizza and Popper Day, it might be money you set aside for your own sponsor children or charities or it could be the time you volunteer to help others. 

However, we invest our money and time in things and people we deem valuable and important. The increasing cost of living is making it more challenging but all the more reason to help others far less fortunate than ourselves.  

Let us remember that the power of one, fueled by love and compassion, can transform the world. Don’t be paralysed by the overwhelming need, take that first step and be the one who makes a difference.

Mike Curtis, Principal

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