How Much Makes A Difference?
Every Sunday morning, A man takes a light jog around a park near his home. There’s a local lake located in one corner of the park.
Each time he jogs by this lake, he sees an old lady sitting at the water’s edge with a small metal cage sitting beside her.
One Sunday, his curiosity got the best of him, He stopped jogging, and casually walks over to her. As he gets closer, he realized that the metal cage was in fact a small trap. There are three turtles, unharmed, slowly walking around the base of the trap.
The old Lady had a fourth turtle in her lap and was carefully scrubbing it’s shell with a spongy brush.
“Hello,” The young man says…
“I see you here every Sunday morning. If you don’t mind me asking, I’d love to know what you’re doing with these turtles.”
She smiles warmly, and replies…“I’m cleaning off their shells..”
She goes on to explain “Anything on a turtle’s shell, like algae or scum, reduces the turtle’s ability to absorb heat and impedes its ability to swim. It can also corrode and weaken the shell over time.”
The young man exclaims…“Wow! That’s really nice of you!”
The old lady goes on: “I spend a couple of hours each Sunday morning, relaxing by this lake and helping these little guys out. It’s my own strange way of making a difference.”
The young man is intrigued but then an uncomfortable thought hits him and he asks, puzzled.. “But don’t most freshwater turtles live their whole lives with algae and scum hanging from their…shells?”
“Yep, sadly, they do,” The old lady replies.
The young man scratches his head with a more puzzled look saying.. “Well then, don’t you think your time could be better spent?”
“ I mean, I think your efforts are kind and all, but there are freshwater turtles living in lakes all around the world. And 99%…of these turtles don’t have kind people like you to help them clean off their shells.”
“So, no offense…but how exactly are your localized efforts here truly making a difference?”
The old lady giggles aloud. Draws his attention as she looks down at the turtle in her laps, scrubbed off the last piece of algae from its shell, and says,
“Sweetie, if this little guy could talk, he’d tell you I just made all the difference in the world.”
There are life lessons in this story that you and I can learn from.. From the old lady and from the inquisitive young man;
In this season (you know the one).. This “ember” month brings lots of celebration which I think would get a bigger celebration this year considering all that has happened.. Let’s not forget the less privileged ones around us.
Every little help you render might seem small to you but it could mean the whole world to the person you are helping.
Make it your duty to put a smile on one person’s face every time you can and have the opportunity to.
It could mean the world to them.
Always try to make a difference even if it feels like no one notices you.