We’ve all heard stories about amazing people who perform extraordinary feats and we tend to make them our heroes. And I’m sure most of us have seen movies or TV shows about endearing underdogs who go against all odds, to improve their lives or stand up for social justice. But everyday there are tens of thousands of people who most of us will never hear about, who are doing all sorts of things to make our world a better place – one person at a time.
Three years ago my daughter and I set out on a journey to tell the stories of some of those everyday heroes who are creating positive change. We did end up with a documentary that we are both proud of, but we also ended up with a lot more when we made that journey. What we realized was the exponential power of one. Such a simple thought and actually not all that complicated to manifest. But most of us talk ourselves out of what we could do or contribute – it just seems too overwhelming.
It’s easy to talk our selves out of things. It would certainly be easier to convince our self that a project or idea is impossible than it would be to proceed and potentially face a failed attempt. And maybe we’ve seen too many heroic movies that make us feel that our actions and deeds must be grandiose. The fact is they don’t. Most of the people we met on our travels while making the film were ordinary people who believed they could make a difference – and they did.
I came back from that journey a different person, realizing the power that’s within us all. Think of all the small things we could all do that would add up. It may be a connection that we make with someone who is lonely and simply needs someone to talk to or helping someone out who may need it. I also realized that I don’t have to be a doctor, a skilled engineer or a minister to make a difference in someone’s life. Maybe, my purpose is simply to shine a light on other peoples’ stories as a filmmaker or create awareness and inspire others through my craft. Or maybe it’s as simple as flashing a smile at someone as I walk down a city street.
Imagine if everyone did one or two small things that could make a positive difference in someone else’s life every day. Imagine what a profound effect that would have in our world. Just imagine the incredible power of one.