|Image courtesy of OBMonkey|
The poet maryam kazmi wrote a piece she calls “Just One” that has gotten quite a bit of traction on the Internet. Here is her original:
One song can spark a moment
One flower can wake a dream
One tree can start a forest
One bird can herald spring
One smile begins friendship
One handclasp lifts a soul
One star can guide a ship at the sea
One word can frame a goal
One vote can change a nation
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes all the darkness
One laugh will conquer gloom
One step must start each journey
One word must start each prayer
One hope will raise our spirits
One touch can show you care
One voice can speak with wisdom
One heart can know what’s true
One life can make a difference
You see it’s up to you
Do you ever think that one person really doesn’t matter? Tabitha Brown proved that one person can make a difference.
It was 1846. Grandma Brown, as she was affectionately called, joined one of the wagon trains of adventurers hoping to start a life in America’s west. She was 62 years old, only five feet tall and weighed all of 108 pounds when well-fed. Because she was partly paralyzed, she leaned on a cane and walked with a limp.
Along the way, Grandma Brown showed great courage and stamina. As she crossed the American Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, she nursed the wagon train’s sick. At one point she neared starvation herself after the caravan’s cattle were rustled off by Rogue River Indians.
Once they arrived in Oregon, she started an orphanage and one of the first schools in that part of the country. The so-called academy was established for all people, both rich and poor. The poor attended free while those who could afford paid a dollar a week for tuition and board.
As long as Grandma Brown was able, she worked to keep the institution alive. She attended to the students. She convinced would-be faculty of the need for teachers at the school. Many days found her hobbling about on her lame leg in the kitchen, kneading and baking the necessary daily bread.
Grandma Brown believed that one person can make a difference. Today, the institution she helped to build is still very much alive and well. It is known as Pacific University.
I particularly like how Sydney Smith once put it: "It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can.”
I think Grandma Brown got that.
-- Steve Goodier