In this world where the media shows us more bad than good, more sorrow than joy, and more problem than solution, we can work ourselves into a spiraling mess of woe. On any given day we see shootings, hunger, terrorism, abuse, and bullying. Some of us see the snippet of news and let it pass by, never to rest in our consciousness while others of us are very affected by what has been told.
Whether you’re affected in a big way or you let it pass by you, the bigger issue is what can you do about it? What can one person do with such large problems? Let me offer some suggestions. You can be involved in the Power of One. Read on friend. My small solution might be tantamount to a larger solution.
I met a young mother not too long ago. We had immediately hit it off. I really liked chatting with her. She’d left an abusive relationship and was trying her best to raise her children by providing what she could. She was trying to be a good provider, a shelter from the storm, a cheerleader, and a source of hope. She fed them first and often didn’t have enough to eat herself. She, like so many, was too embarrassed to ask for help. After all, she thought, “I got myself into this mess, I don’t deserve to ask anyone – personally, community agency, or church for help.” She became my Power of One. Not as in my “project” but more that I felt God’s nudge to reach out to her and help in some way.
I sent one simple email to some friends – Will you help? We started with the basics. Food. By the end of my four day deadline, I had enough food to fill the back of a truck which had to overflow into the cab! Not only food but grocery gift certificates too! My favorite though, was a through a story that I repeated to my friends about how her kids just wanted to go out for a pizza but there was no way she could afford it. There were gift certificates to a couple of our local pizza joints and even complete ingredients to make it at home!
The Power of One gave this report to her friends: The young mother sent messages about the sheer joy of her children in seeing the food, through tears she talked about their change in attitude: getting up for breakfast, eager and excited to go to school and sports practice afterwards. She told of her son who had been distant and withdrawn and now was helping with chores and happily talking about the future. Her daughter was bounding with energy, making new friends and finding new interests.
I thought it couldn’t get any better and then our local high school volleyball team got wind of what we were doing. They didn’t know who they were helping and honestly they didn’t care. These selfless girls, being taught that life is bigger than they are, collected hundreds of dollars, gave clothing, provided little things to this family to bring a little bit of hope and happiness to their world.
ONE. One idea. One email. One young mother. This now becomes multiplied. There are now multiple people who helped in some way and now feel the Power of One. The mother doesn’t have to worry about the basics and can instead move to another level of providing. She can spend more time on her relationships, she can feel like a quality parent, she can feel hope. I know you understand this. Her children have security, they have food, and they have hope. What does this do for their future? Only time will tell. Some of their basic needs were met but one more aspect needs to be addressed. Reach out and be in relationship with each other.
Relationship. It goes back to my blog post about Listening, we must be willing to spend some time listening to others. It can be friends, family, acquaintances, even someone you’ve just met. We need to notice the small things. Once we listen, we can find a way to help. Try to focus on the “we” and not the “me.”
Rather than worrying about all of the craziness in our world, be part of the Power of One. A smile or simple “Good Morning” is as much Power of One as is being a Big Brother/Big Sister or adopting a family for Christmas. You can be one person doing one selfless act for another – you become part of the solution.
PS. Sometimes you’re only planting the seed and you don’t see the fruits of your labor. Trust, you’re making a difference.