Sometimes people forget just how much of a difference people can make when they work together and work hard to achieve a goal. And even when it seems that the things you do haven’t amounted to anything, you have to remember that something you might see as small or insignificant might mean the world to someone else.
Last Monday our class hosted the students who had taken part in aiding School Supplies for Afghan Children in a previous semester. I spent a lot of time taking photos – with someone else’s camera. So while I don’t have any images for you, I am sure you can take a peek at some of the other entries here to get a better idea of what I am talking about next. It seems that the previous students had made such a difference in the lives of those in Kabul and other areas that the locals there had gathered together, along with the residing troops, to send them gifts, some handmade and others examples of the culture. They also received recognition from another source – the United States government, going home with certificates of recognition. One girl left with the U.S. flag that had flown over the city, carefully packaged in a wooden box crafted by an Afghan soldier.
So remember, it may be some trivial thing to us stateside but for the children we are dealing with the work we are doing is life changing. A pencil really can be that crucial, and the thankfulness is readily apparent from both the troops and civilians that our efforts have reached.
And those small drops in the great pond will even then ripple out and effect even more things, and make greater changes still.
I leave you with an anecdote I came across recently.
An old man walked down a Florida beach at dawn. A great storm had racked the coastline, and the evidence of it’s passing was everywhere. He saw ahead of him what he thought to be a dancer. The young man was running across the sand, rhythmically bending down to pick up a stranded sand dollar and throw it far into the sea.
The old man gazed in wonder as the young soul again and again threw the small sand dollar from the sand into the water. The old man approached him and asked why he spent so much energy doing what seemed a waste of time. The young man explained that the stranded sand dollars would die if left until the morning sun.
“But there are thousands of miles of beach, and miles and miles of sand dollars. How can your effort make any difference?”
The young man looked down at the small sand dollar in his hand, and as he threw it to safety in the sea, said, “It made a difference to that one!”