Words from my heart
This semester I work at the university switchboard three mornings a week. When I arrive on campus, I park in the Chestnut lot, head toward the sidewalk on the south side of McDonald Hall, and then walk briskly along the sidewalk’s left edge, eyes fixed on the cement until it’s time to turn the corner.
On a recent morning, the imprint of a leaf in the cement caught my eye. How did a leaf so small make such a distinct impression? Leaves weigh almost nothing. Somehow though, that leaf found its way into the once-fresh cement and left its mark on the world.
The leaf made me think of my current history course, Modern Civilizations. During class, the professor lectures from PowerPoint presentations. Slide after slide, pictures and bullet points tell of men and women who left their mark on the world—some for better, some for worse. During junior high and high school, history bored me. But the older I’ve gotten, the more it fascinates me and the more I understand:
ONE LIFE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.
One of my heroes is William Wilberforce, the British politician who spent twenty-six years committed to abolishing the slave trade. His voice led to the Slavery Abolition Act 1833. Of course, he didn’t do it alone. Others came alongside him. They supported him, believed in him—they spurred him on. Amazing Grace, the movie about Wilberforce, is a favorite of mine and it ends with the following statement:
William Wilberforce continued to battle injustice for the rest of his life. He transformed the hearts and minds of his countrymen on education, health care and prison reform to accomplish his second great dream—making a better world.
It may be easy to think that one person can’t make a difference. Often we ask, Who am I? Do I matter? Often we answer, I’m nobody. My life is small and insignificant.
But that’s simply not true. I can make a difference in my world. I can make a distinct impression in the fresh cement I call my home, my work, my city, my state, my country.
My life can change the world and make it better. So can yours.
Together, let’s dream.