Sunday, September 12, 2010

Making a difference

What can I do? I am only one person? One person can never make a difference. You have to "be" someone to make a difference. Unless you are famous or a politician then you can't really make anything happen.

I have heard those words more than once and in some respects it is true. Big names bring bigger notice to certain issues but little people, average people, people like you and me can make a huge difference as well.

I was in the post office the other day and the lady in front of me was asked if she would like to support mental illness.  I quickly flashed back to copies of stamps that were sent to me and others by a friend.  She has worked very hard to protect the rights of the mentally ill and I knew that it was her hard work that had resulted in both the mental health stamp and the question being posed to the lady in the post office.

Not everyone is about to get a postage stamp for their cause but its amazing how people can make a difference in your life.  The gentleman who shared with my son and others how he ignored his diabetes and repeatedly ended up in the hospital made a difference in our lives.  My child is now talking about diabetes...his disease.  The teacher that went to my son and said "I have a child with diabetes as well. Please come to me if you are low or need any help.  I can help you. I know what to do." made a big difference in removing some of my fear and that of my son.  He now knows that there is someone closer than a cell phone who can help him.  The man in our house who has learned to lean over and say "Hey Liam! Did you test? Have you bolused? Do you need a different basal?" provides me with a sense of support I have never known before.  They all have made and continue to make a big difference in our lives.

What about the really big things? You have to be a huge organization or a celebrity, I'm telling you! Yep, heard it before as well.  That person who helped get the mental health stamp is not an organization or a celebrity.  She is to me and many who have the privilege of knowing her but to John Q public, she is just another person on the street. There are a group of parents with incredible determination in Ontario to see legislative changes regarding diabetes care in their schools. They are not paid employees of a big corporation.  (They would actually love to be able to quit their day jobs and work at this around the clock but the pay is terrible.)  They are parents that care. They will make an impact. They will see change.

People do make a difference. Its not about who gets their name in the paper. Its about making a difference in people's lives. Don't be intimidated. Don't underestimate the impact that you have. As the saying goes, "To the world you may just be one person, but to one person you are the world."  You would be surprised to see how many people may consider you their world.

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