We may long to make a positive impact on someone’s life. But that often happens when we read about a Hurricane Katrina or about a Tsunami. Why do we wait for a special calling? Can’t we do our bit to spread a smile on someone’s face? To make a difference?
Today, I want you to read a story. Or rather two. The first story goes like this.
One day, as a man was walking along the beach. He noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. He approached the boy and asked, “What are you doing?”
The boy said, “Look! These starfish are stranded on the beach. I am saving all of them”.
The man noticed that the surf was up and the tide was going out. So yes, the boy was making sense. But then he also found that there were miles and miles of beach and thousands and thousands of starfish.
He said to the boy, “Well, you won’t make much of a difference, will you?”
The boy smiled at him, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the sea. Pointing towards it he said, “There. I made a difference for that one”.
This is the answer to those of us who wonder “Will my choices make a difference in this world of 7.6 billion people?”
Let’s read another story.
There was this girl who took up a job after doing her Engineering degree. She worked for three years but then decided to go for a more meaningful and socially relevant work. She didn’t want to start an NGO. Her search led her to a small village called Paalaguttapalle (Dalitwada) in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh.
It was a community of landless labourers. Recurrent droughts had struck for the last few years and agriculture became no means of livelihood. They were trying to find ways to make both ends meet. She found that a handful of women knew how to make excellent pickles, some basic stitching and others were willing to learn. She decided to guide them, and that led to making perfect eco-friendly, sustainable cloth bags. Orders started pouring in and the women are now sustaining their families.
That was in 1995 and the work still continues.
I am talking about Aparna Krishnan, and the beautiful creations of the women of Paalaguttapalle. From bags with the traditional Kalamkari panels, hand embroidery, and screen prints, you can find them all. Like Paalaguttapalle bags, the pickles are also widely appreciated. The tomato pickle made with sun-dried tomatoes is unique to this region.
Aparna Krishnan says, “The women have been working hard, with complete commitment to quality and neatness. When I tell Rani that the quality is uniformly appreciated, she tells me, “That is what we need. Money is secondary.” And every customer has uniformly appreciated the work.”
Paalaguttapalle bags will cost you between Rs.55 to Rs.150 (Yes. Seriously!).
Think for a minute. What would have happened if Aparna Krishnan hadn’t taken that initiative?
We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love” – Mother Theresa
Don’t hesitate to take that step, however small it may seem. You may never know how huge a difference you would make in someone’s life.
That said, here’s a contest for you. Read the rules below.
- Write a post on the prompt “If I could make a small difference today, I would ———–” We invite today to blog for a cause to make a difference.
- Use the hashtags #writebravely and #writetribeblogsforacause
- Follow Aparna on Twitter and like this Facebook page.
- Add your post to the linky below.
- Visit and comment on the posts linked.
- The last date to add to the linky is 21st December.
- Oh and share the love!
- And yes, there will be small Christmas presents for the best two posts.
Make a difference today.