When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit that our lives are all that really belong to us. So, it is how we use our lives that determines what kind of men we are. It is my deepest belief that only by giving our lives do we find life." - Cesar Chavez

It is easy to believe that we are powerless to make a difference in the world. They believe only those exceptionally gifted or powerful or wealthy are capable of making a difference. But most belief systems proclaim each of us is in this world to contribute in our own unique way. It need not be anything more than being something done with the intention of ‘doing good’.

We all enter this existence, with the ability to decide for ourselves, exactly who we want to be. If one believes in God, one believes in Judgement Day. Accounts of Near-Death Experiences are virtually unanimous on one point. There always is a "life review" of some manner involved. There has not been one published, that expressed divine damnation for not getting enough money or prestige.

The evidence shows in either example, that we will ultimately be judged (or judge ourselves), by the difference we make in the lives of others, for good or for ill. Even if popular culture animates the belief, that some are more important than others in this world, when it is over we all will be in the same place. The only things that will truly endure are how we have used our lives, in relation to the lives of others. 

We can choose to sit on the sidelines and say that one has to be famous or megarich to scratch the surface of the world's ills. But then you see there are millions of people making a difference who are not on any kind of "A-list", except in terms of decency,  courage, and selflessness. We all have God-given gifts that can make a difference in the lives of others. Even if one is not a natural motivator, it is possible to be a blessing in the lives of others. There are so many people in the world that need hope, guidance, support, and inspiration. And any of can make a difference.

We can make a difference at work as a beginning. Mentor the newbies, and by that act alone, you become the light in the life of someone else. Each and every day in our personal lives, we meet those struggling to move beyond past obstacles and barriers. Assisting others to achieve their goals and dreams, helps us to feel fulfilled every day while helping others to live the life they were created to live. Each small ripple in the ocean of hopelessness makes a difference for humanity.

Many who have overcome adversity and tragedy, feel the need to share their message with others. Even in those moments that evoke a painful past, those who have still to survive need to know that there are people out there who have overcome just about any obstacle in life.  Giving people hope is a very rewarding feeling. The way that we each can make a difference in the lives of others, is to make a decision to simply do something. Whatever that something is may provide the difference between success or even survival for someone else. 

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” 
– Anne Frank

We each have the ability to make the world a better place. Making a difference is the sum of our collective efforts to contribute,  and having the heart to do it. There is not a perfectly defined time to start. We should never wait till there is time to share.  

Little efforts count. The belief that everything has been taken care of by someone else and that one person's contribution does not make much of a difference is infectious. Thankfully not everyone thinks that way. The belief that one is only capable of making small contributions, begs the divine question. What we will end up judging ourselves for, is whether or not we tried. 

"For, in the end, the love we take is equal to the love we make." - The Beatles

The greatest gifts we give to the world are happiness and love. Too often, we’re too indulged in our own gratifications and forget there are people in this world who are starving for either.  To find more happiness and love in our own lives, the truest path is to create the same for others.  

We change the world by helping one person at a time. In this time of danger and uncertainty, many are losing hope and learning desperation. We can help by seeking to empower others, simply by replacing criticism and judgment with encouragement. We add value to the world by helping others to accomplish what their lives are meant to be.

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” – Benjamin Disraeli

All good things begin with us. When we try to make a difference, we influence others to attempt to make a difference as well.   All it takes is simply demonstrating concern and love to the people in our orbit. and starting today. No matter how small and insignificant it seems, the world simply needs each of us to try. 



In the mid-1970s, singer Harry Chapin focused on social activism, raising money to combat hunger in the United States. His daughter Jen says: "He saw hunger and poverty as an insult to America." He co-founded the organization the organization World Hunger Year with radio personality Bill Ayres,  Sales of his concert merchandise were used to support the group.

Chapin's activism often caused friction amongst sidemen. Harry donated an estimated third of his paid concerts to charitable causes, often performing alone with his guitar to reduce costs. His widow, Sandy said,  "only with slight exaggeration", that "Harry was supporting 17 relatives, 14 associations, seven foundations and 82 charities. Harry wasn't interested in saving money. He always said, 'Money is for people,' so he gave it away." 

In 1987, on what would have been his 45th birthday, Harry Chapin was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his campaigning on hunger around the world and in the United States. He was recognized as a key reason for,  the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger in 1977, and as the only member who attended every meeting. USA for Africa and Hands Across America were organized by Ken Kragen who had been Chapin's manager. "I felt like Harry had crawled into my body and was making me do it." Kragen once said.  

For The Harry Chapin foundation please visit:


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