Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A wick in a stick of dynamite

A wick in a stick of dynamite  . . . secretly, that's something that many of us want to be.  We want to be that person who ignites something major in our lifetime.  We want to be Orville and Wilbur Wright, Henry Ford, Rosa Parks, Walt Disney, the Beatles, Mother Teresa, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. The truth is that few of us will ever be famous but that doesn't preclude us from being world-changers, too. 

You've probably heard the story of the child who walked along the beach throwing starfish that washed up onto the shore back into the ocean.  A man comes along and asks the child, "Why are you throwing the starfish back when there are so many of them and you can only save a few?  It can't possibly make any real difference."  The child replies, "It makes a difference to this one." 

If you and I rethink our definition of world-changers to include the world of any one person, all of us can be world-changers. Charlie Pettis, one of my high school English teachers, was a world-changer in my world.  So was Jim Parsons, my high school youth minister and Walter Porter, my college campus minister. So were my parents.  So was Bill Graves, a boss of mine in my first career and David Smith, a co-worker of mine in that same career.  All of these people helped shape my life and therefore they helped shape the lives of people that I have influenced, people that they will never know.  Maybe none of them pioneered aviation, ignited the desegregation movement in the South or invented the personal computer but like the starfish that the child referred to in the earlier story, they made a difference to me, a big difference, a world-changing difference in my world.

Maybe when we adjust our thinking, we will realize that all of us can be a wick in a stick of dynamite.  

Who have been the most significant influencers in your life?  Who changed your world in some way?

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