The Power of One

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Since arriving in Thailand and reading the book Not For Sale by David Batstone, I’ve had an uncomfortable feeling that I wasn’t able to identify. I want to help. I think anyone who knows about poverty and exploitation wants to help.  But how do we eradicate poverty, statelessness, and the exploitation of women and children completely?  The vast nature of the root causes and the millions of women and children who are impacted is astounding.  Truly, I don’t even know where to start…and that’s when it hit me during one of our evening debriefings.  We may not see poverty, statelessness, and exploitation entirely solved within our lifetime.  The problem is simply too big.  However, we can make a difference one person at a time.  


At first I had a hard time processing that revelation.  After years of business school, it’s in my nature to want to take a linear approach and identify the root cause of an issue and simply “fix the problem”.  Unfortunately, there is no such approach to this complex challenge, and focusing on the problem in its entirety is simply overwhelming for the average person.  Thankfully, the eureka for me was when I finally realized that I could make a difference in the life of one person.  Impacting one life is realistic and attainable for all of us.  I may not be solving world hunger but that one person I helped matters!  The one child who will get to play in the playground we are building matters!  The one child who will enjoy fresh eggs and meat because of the chicken coop and pig pen we’ve built matters!  The one child who will get to be a kid and play games with our group of volunteers matters!  


I’m on this trip because my daughter Allison speaks so highly of the LiveDifferent organization and has volunteered with them in past.  However, I will confess that I am guilty of worrying that she is trying to single-handedly change the world.  As her mom, I don’t want her to be hurt or disappointed if her efforts don’t produce the desired impact.  Today I stand humbled having learned much from the lovely young lady I am proud to call my daughter.  Clearly she has proven that you can teach old dog new tricks!  And most importantly, you can make a difference – and it MATTERS even if it is only one person at a time.  

~ Natasha, Participant, LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Thailand


Author: LiveDifferent

Date: May 7th, 2012