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How Can I Make A Difference? A Drop In The Ocean!

Updated on October 31, 2012
One drop of water
One drop of water | Source

WHO AM I?

I am but a drop in the ocean. I am but a single man. I am one of seven billion inhabitants on this planet, a mere fleck of dust in a sandstorm of epic proportions.

I am a son, a father, an uncle and a husband. I am a friend, an ally, a foe and a stranger. Wound me and I will bleed; hurt me and I will cry. I work, I play, I stand proud and I move forward.

If I disappeared tomorrow how many would miss me? How many would even know that I existed? If I were to appear before Saint Peter tomorrow, would he recognize me, or need to check his stats sheet to find the significance of my time on Earth?

WHO ARE YOU?

You are but a drop in the ocean. You are a single man, or woman. You are one of seven billion inhabitants on this planet, a mere fleck of dust in a sandstorm of epic proportions.

You are a son, a daughter, wife or husband. You are a grandson, grandfather, ally and foe, and yes, indeed, a stranger. Will you bleed if wounded? Will you cry if hurt? Of course you will, as we all do, and through it all you will move forward….always forward….because that is what we do.

If you disappeared tomorrow how many would miss you? How many would even know that you existed? And how would that meeting go with you and Saint Pete? Are you on the top of his list, a pillar of humanity, or would you appear in the appendix with the also-rans?

WHO ARE THEY?

They are but drops in the ocean. They are men and women, solitary figures indistinguishable from one another as viewed over the span of Earth’s existence.

They are all of those, the fathers, sons, daughters and wives; they are the executives, the slaves, the bankers and the peons. Slice and dice them, and regardless of their social standing, they will bleed, and no matter the shield that protects their psyche, if you hurt them they will cry.

Who would miss them, the Republicans, Democrats, corporate execs and millworkers? Who would miss the contract farmers and the sheepherders, the Porsche salesmen and the social workers? In a world of seven billion, what difference does one man or woman make?

WHAT ARE WE?

We are bone and tissue, nerves and organs, all wrapped up in differing sizes, shapes, and appearances. We are the caveman and the nuclear physicist, the pioneer and the gunslinger, the sociopath and the priest, all wandering the landscape in search of…..what?

We claim superiority over all that is before us, but how can that be true when common animals have more common sense? How can we be superior when we lose sight, so easily, of that which is most important? How can we be superior when we are guided by the basest of emotions and urges?

In a world of seven billion, what difference could one man or woman possibly make?

THE QUEST

That, then, is the question I place before you! What difference can one man or woman possibly make? It is a valid question my friends, and you might be shocked by the number of people who believe that one person makes little difference in this world.

Seriously, is not a goat herder in Afghanistan insignificant? He certainly cannot change the world? For that matter, a villager in Sudan has no shot at making a difference, correct? How about that mother of five in Detroit? She once was married, her husband had a great job with Ford Motor Company, but then the layoffs hit, followed by the divorce, and problems with the kids and lack of food and foreclosure and what in the hell difference does it make whether she lives or dies?

The pretty people in the nightclubs dance to a frenetic beat, stuff white gold up their nostrils, and fight off panic in any way possible, while thirty feet to the south of that dance floor the homeless battle pigeons and crows for scraps blowing in the wind.

What possible difference can any of them make in this lifetime?

Storms named Katrina and Sandy deliver a dose of reality as the populace seeks high ground, and the inevitable price gouging and looting prove once again that all is not well in our kingdom here on Earth. If we cannot come together for the common good during catastrophe, what difference can we possibly make on any calm, peaceful day?

And yet that is our quest!

The aftermath of Sandy
The aftermath of Sandy | Source

ONE AT A TIME

Marian Wright Edelman
“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”

Read the above quote again!

Most of us make a profound difference each and every day; we just don’t realize it.

A mother loves her son and raises him to be a fine citizen and human being. A social worker goes out of her way to make sure a family receives benefits they so desperately need. A teacher goes the extra mile for her students and a nurse stays late to supply compassion and comfort.

A clerk takes the time to know his customers and a young teen helps an old woman carry her packages from the store.

Too much time is spent thinking about the Martin Luther Kings and the Nelson Mandelas of the world; we compare ourselves to those accomplishments and we pale in comparison…..or do we?

One single act of kindness spreads forth into the world until it appears to be a tidal wave of kindness. One single act of compassion spreads forth into the world, and gives birth to more compassion, until compassion and empathy rule supreme in a once dark land.

We are all capable of making a positive difference in this world, but I will take that a step further and say that we are all responsible for making a difference. We cannot, in good conscience, stand on the sidelines waiting for the reincarnation of Martin Luther King. We cannot bemoan the fact that our leaders do not lead, if we are unwilling to dive headfirst into the process and become a positive vision of change. We cannot turn our heads in disgust when viewing inhumane acts, and declare them unacceptable, if we will not make a stand against such acts.

Yes, we are but one drop of water in an ocean of seven billion drops, but even one drop makes a ripple, and who is to say which of those ripples will be the one needed to make this world a better place? And imagine, if you will, if one drop combines with another, and another, until a strong force of ripples overcomes the currents, overcomes the natural barriers, overcomes every obstacle before it, and changes life as we know it.

Imagine! One drop of water! Imagine!

p.s. this article is dedicated to the survivors of Hurricane Sandy, and it is directly related to my friend Linda, who suggested that all writers band together and write an article about helping those in need.

How can you help? Imagine, and it will be so! Huge community movements have been started by one person who felt the need to help others. Do whatever you can, but do something. We learned from Katrina that oftentimes Federal and State help takes a long time to arrive. Take up collections, send contributions, start a writing campaign as Linda did…..just do something! These are our countrymen (and women) and they need our help!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Pretty amazing and certainly food for thought. I was just saying to my husband this morning...how easy it is for us to feel badly about hurricane Sandy as we are remote and safe in our home and our world dealing with the usual daily problems and issues. Thanks for bringing this all out that we often seldom take time to think about. As always a work of thought, kindness and compassion.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, it is quite easy to see something happen from 3000 miles away and express remorse but also feel there is nothing we can do. We are writers, Carol; there is always something we can do!

      Thank you my friend; I hope the weather in Arizona is better than in Olympia. It's a bit wet here! :)

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Sir, you have done me proud. With tears running down my face I say to you - this is by far the most powerful, honest, fact-based piece of writing I have found on HP. It is brilliant. It is raw. It is beauty and poetry and anger and it screams to be heard. And, it's ripple effect will make a difference. Your inner voice is amazing. You are a channel for the souls that have such small voices. I am honored to be mentioned Bill but honestly, I am no more than a little tiny drop in a great big ocean in which you are a wave! Wow!

    • ALUR profile image

      ALUR 4 years ago from USA

      These are the questions of mankind; one has to ponder the power of one and certainly by being contemplative followed by action, ONE can be of most value. Often I don't realize even a simple smile, or a warm embrace and even a universal prayer in the private sanctuary of my home reverberates immense hope for others.

      you're welcome to read and rate my versatile hubs as well:)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda.....I don't even know what to say....thank you just doesn't seem to be enough. I'm just a writer my friend, as you are a writer. We try to make a difference with our words,,,,,and if we do, we are vindicated for all of those long hours and tears and angst that went into the writing. It can be a lonely existence but man oh man, what highs! Better than any drug I have tried, that's for damn sure.

      I love your spirit and I love this idea; hopefully others will follow, yes?

      love to you my dear,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alur, thank you for the visit and yes, I will try to visit you more often. I have found time to be a real issue now that I have become established here at HP....but I will try harder.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Honey, you said all you needed to say in the hub. I have added a link to it in my original "plea", shared it on FB, twitter, and pinterest, and voted it up and across the board. It needs to be read. I hope our ripple becomes a tidal wave and with your voice here, I have confidence. Sending the love back to you two-fold.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      The power of ONE is an amazing thing indeed. One word can change a life, one act can inspire other acts. We all need to do our one thing whatever it may be, and the results will make a difference!

      Mark

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Linda, you said it all. Bill, you are a master of the written word, and have the unique ability to take a situation and place it into terms we all can recognize and understand. I am humbled by you. Thank you for this masterful work of art.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, you yourself are testament to the power of one! Your words are so true. If people wait for others to start the ball rolling, it never will. One by one we will gain momentum and create an avalanche of generosity, compassion and love. Each and every one of the seven billion are the beginning.

      Touche, my friend!

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      So true, Bill! An ocean is composed of many such once solitary drops. We cannot let ourselves become so overwhelmed with the problems facing our world we become discouraged with trying to solve them.

      SSSSS

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, we will see what we shall see. Some people just don't want to read this stuff, but that doesn't mean it isn't important. We can only do so much; we can't make them read it. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, you are oh so right. I'm going to keep shouting about it, and we'll see if we can't raise awareness and inspire some action where needed.

      Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I actually have the nuns to thank for whatever ability I might have...seriously! They harped and harped about the power of the written word, and how choosing just the right word could make all the difference. I haven't forgotten that lesson. :)

      Thank you my friend; I hope life is good in Joplin this day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I am a firm believe in your statement; people just don't realize the impact they can have....but you and I and Linda are going to keep showing them, aren't we?

      love you,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randy, you pinpointed the main problem....the feeling, of many, that it is all overwhelming. I refuse to believe that; I have seen too many examples of movements begun by one person.

      Thank you Sir!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      One tiny drop in the ocean adds to the flood. We can really make a difference when we want to! Thanks for sharing, I share too!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Another motivating write, so many of us do nothing because we don't believe it will change a thing, but there are times when its the small things that makes the most difference. One small voice can start an avalanche, a smile can make someone's day, every journey begins with just one step. Great job.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Excellent Bill! We all do matter, and when that drop hits the surface of a pool of water, there are ripple effects outward.

      I like the part where you suggest we not compare ourselves to Martin Luther King, Jr. or other "heroes" that appear to have had huge impacts on the world. Simply lending a helping hand or even smiling at a person who probably needs it, will lift their spirits, as well as yours.

      Well written and heartfelt, as always. Rated up and sharing! Best, Steph

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      A little girl found a bunch of starfish stranded in a tidal pool. Concerned that they would die, she began throwing them into the ocean, one by one. A man came along and said: "Little girl, what you're doing will never make a difference - there are too many of them." She held up a starfish and said: "It makes a difference to this one." Great hub Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, I believe this with my entire being. I hope you do too; as a writer you have the ability to change the way people think and view life, and that is powerful. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I have to believe this; otherwise, what is the point of writing? Power to the writers of the world; we can change this world one article at a time.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steph, I'm always happy when you drop by. Thank you my friend; I don't know how it is in Bend, but here we are a bit wet! LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rfmoran, I love that story....and how very true. If my writing, or yours, makes life better for one person....how powerful is that?

      Thank you Sir!

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      I love this article! Sometimes we feel like things are so overwhelming that we can't make a difference. Thanks for reminding us that every little bit does make a difference! Pinned this article!

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 4 years ago from Olney

      A brilliant piece of writing Billy. Thank you so much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      one2get2no, thank you very much my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stephanie, so nice to have you back again; I just read your latest and thought it was excellent. How wonderful to be a writer, yes?

      Thank you!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      Wow! This is powerful spiritual stuff. Billybuc, you have a beautiful soul. If each single drop of water in the pond decided that it was usless and took itself out, the pond would be dry. One of the most insulting signs I ever saw posted at a workplace said, "If you think you are indespensible, place your finger in a glass of water and see how big a hole it leaves when you remove it." Each little drop is here because it is important. Sometimes it just has to work around the big drips. Voted you up and awesome, friend. (And thanks to Friend Linda for giving you the idea.)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      You did an excellent job on this post, Bill. I am reposting so others can help. Our church is active in this need and hopefully, many other organizations will hop on board. I am so shocked at all the damage and loss to these people. My friends up there are doing well, but they are still without electricity. It is like a war zone. Anyway, one drop can make a difference.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Bill

      You've said is all and said it magnificently. If every one of us (drops) took one small step, the proverbial ocean we could create might possibly match the strength of such awesome storms as Sandy, Katrina, Irene as well as so many other occurrences throughout the Country.

      Awesome job! Sharing it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB...work around the big drips....great line! Thank you my friend; I believe strongly in community and helping each other, and it all starts with one person and one idea.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I know you believe in this as do I! I grow weary of people saying there is nothing they can do to make this world a better place. There is always something that can be done by each and every one of us.

      Thank you for being the caring and compassionate person that you are, and thank you for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie my dear, that is the hope! All we need to do is begin! How hard can that be? One small act to make this world a better place. I know you understand that concept very well.

      Thank you my friend!

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      billybuc You never disappoint! Voted up, useful and beautiful.

      Your term "a flek of dust" is similar to my referring to myself as a 'speck' in the universe.

      I read somewhere that Small can be great and great can be small. i believe it is true.

      It is amazing what one drop can do, which you emphasize in this hub.

      When a disaster strikes I always seek God's guidance in what He would have me do. He has given each one of us gifts and talents to use to help others. I most often get 'flash thoughts' on what my part is to be.

      Thank you for reminding us to do that, and for your mention of Linda.

      I visited her Profile, what a great lady, and I visited one of her hubs.

      You continue to encourage and motivate hub friends and your spirituality shines through what you write.

      I believe everyone of us has the potential to contribute to the happiness of others, especially hubbers...through their writing.

      You have certainly accomplished that!

      God bless, keep those hubs coming! Sparklea :)

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      One random act of kindness is one way to change the world. Compassion says a lot about a person too. "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Now is the time to make a difference and reach out to those in need. Whether it's a simple donation through American Red Cross or a donation of clothes or canned goods. After the devastation in New York and Jersey, this is one of the ways that we can all make a difference. Fantastic hub!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      OMG! A piece of writing! How I've missed you. Among the How To do this, and How To do that, and this week's hot topic, and a load of something that just fell off a turnip truck and landed on somebody's keyboard. A piece of quality writing. I may not be up to writing them myself so much any more, but I darned well know one when I see one.

      Good subject. Well written. Thank a merciful . . . you know what I'm saying. Hubbers? Read and learn.

      Oh yeah. What you wrote about. It can be overwhelming. Just do something, anything, pick a not-for-profit and give whatever you can. A little is a darned sight better than nothing. Google how to check out a charity if you're worried about giving to a scam.

    • tipstoretireearly profile image

      tipstoretireearly 4 years ago from New York

      Following the ripple analogy is educational. While one drop may make little difference to a pool of water, the drop is capable of making ripples with widespread impact. So it is with a single person in a population of billions. One good act can spread outwards and impact many others. This hub is great food for thought!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, let me stop laughing and then I'll respond. Regarding the quality of hubs of late...sheez, I don't know what to say. I try to keep my mouth shut as I thumb through the latest hubs, but my goodness, don't we need just a touch more creativity and effort? Okay, that's all I'm going to say.

      Except that I really do appreciate your kind words; no matter how long we write, we all need a certain amount of affirmation, and you just gave me my daily quota. Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tipstoretireearly, thank you, and I believe that completely. Every single momentous change began with one person, one idea, and spread from there. We need more people willing to be that one person. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, I agree obviously, and thank you for adding to the discussion. One small act; one small declaration that we care about other people. It's not too much to ask; I know we are all busy but my God, we need to see the bigger picture. We are all in this together!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lea my friend, you continually give me hope for mankind. What a wonderful human being you are; I am proud to be your friend, Lea, and thank you!

      Yes, we all have gifts! Writers....writers have the power of words, and what a power that is, or can be....we just have to focus our talents and our drive in the direction of good.

      You mentioned my spirituality....of all the nice things you wrote, that was the nicest. It was a conscious decision six years ago to lead a spiritual life. Thank you for affirming that decision.

      blessings and love to you, Lea

      bill

    • Dancing Water profile image

      Dancing Water 4 years ago

      Bill, you speak what has been in my heart and mind for a great part of my lifetime. I was blessed with great examples in my life, people who affected who I am today in a very positive way. My paternal grandfather, for example, a city bus driver, never failed to bring warm hugs, smiles, and bananas to his grandchildren, most likely one of the reasons that to this day that I love bananas. He demonstrated to me that a man could be gentle, peace loving, kind__and still be a man. All of the smiles, generous words, hugs in my life add up to something huge. So it is not only the large actions/gestures that make a positive difference in the universe.

      I think of the collective actions of others that make a wonderful difference as well. If everyone strove to think loving thoughts, radiate positive energy, and to act lovingly every second one has a breath to breathe, what an amazing planet we would have. No war, no strife, no hunger, no hate.

      I know that it CAN happen. We all have free will regardless. We all have the choice to be loving, compassionate, committed beings__or not. Greatness is within us all. We merely have to make the choice to travel down a positive path, and to persevere in that choice.

      A beautiful, powerful hub that every one needs to embrace, dear Bill, a great man of positivity and conviction. You can see that we all love you here at Hub Pages!

      Blessings always,

      Reba

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Bill,

      Would you believe my sister is a nun? And we would both agree with you very much... You learned your lessons well!

      We feel so blessed to have our power back and only minor damage from down trees... We are reaching out to neighbors just down the street not as lucky. Our neighborhood is blessedly very close and friendly.

      Thanks to you, Linda, Sha...angels from all over. Hugs, Maria

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I have been watching the aftermath of Sandy on TV today. The people are so resilient. Help has arrived from all over. There is much we can do to help. There are places to give money or whatever. I do believe we are to help those in need. Wonderful article Bill..Shared on Google friends

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Reba, my dear, you speak the truth! Now if only others would listen. We do not have to settle for the way life is right now! We can make a choice to change the world, but it requires willingness and determination. It is a great goal, one worthy of us as humans. Let us hope, Reba, that our little movement grows into something worthy of the Eleven O'clock News. :)

      Thank you my friend, for such an eloquent comment and declaration of love.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maria; I am happy that you are well and safe. Give that sister of yours a hug for me and tell her I said thank you! :)

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Beautiful Bill! I think the worst thing we can do is nothing. We may not think we can make a difference in the world, but if we do what is put before us each day, look for every opportunity and put our heart into it, we WILL make a difference.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby for sure we should all come together as a nation; with over 300 million people, the little acts of kindness would add up to one huge act of kindness. I am a dreamer, I know, but I still believe in the goodness of mankind.

      Thank you my friend, and have a peaceful evening.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, I truly do believe it, and it gives me strength and hope every time someone like you writes that. Thank you!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      If we insignificants do something and raise awareness, we can force those in power to act quickly. The age of computers has made that very possible, to act quickly, innovatively and precisely where it counts.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      This one person...just another drop in the ocean, has one word to describe the impact of this hub.....WOW!..........UP++++

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I'm speechless....one word? Are you feeling alright? :) Seriously, thank you dear friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I believe that with all my being, and we will make a difference....I am sure of that! :) Thank you!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Beautiful insight. I agree with ya. Even if we constitue only a drop of the ocean but if these drops get together...this ocean will be powerful to withstand any frankenstorm.

      I will try to write something worthwhile dedicating to the victims.

    • DON BALDERAS profile image

      DON BALDERAS 4 years ago

      Making a difference is a process difficult to understand. But on top of all, it is what is good that prevails and drives anyone to do good and make a difference.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Every journey begins with the first step....one step, one person. We can all make a difference one person, one deed. You've said it beautifully Bill. Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, I always feel hope when I read comments and hubs from people like you. There are a great many good people out there; we just need to mobilize them and get them working for the common good.

      Thank you for being who you are!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Don, I firmly believe it is the good that prevails. If not we are all in trouble! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I'm walking that walk, and so are you, and so are a great many people, and that gives me comfort on this Halloween night. Thank you my friend!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Awesome Bill,

      Yes we can all do something no doubt about it. Each and every time we, here in our great nation, have a disaster strike, or terrorist attack, it is amazing how we all come together despite our differeces and pull together helping out our neighbors in need one day at a time, and we will be stronger for the next trial coming around the corner no doubt.

      Excellent hub as always dear one. There are already many stories of one person helping another, and we will hear of many to come no doubt. This is what makes our nation great, as we do come together in a time of great need.

      It was amazing last year when the terrible storms come through here in Alabama and it was total devastation to say the least, but each family pulled together to help another and so on and so on.

      In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Bill, you are so wonderful and write such beautiful words. They are so real and touch the soul. Everything you say is so true. If we can all do just something--whether in the wake of a natural disaster or in everyday life. The ripple effect of one drop. Thanks for writing this. You have spread several drops here, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki my friend....and you are a friend....thank you! I am so grateful that I found a voice that people react to; who ever knew it was in me? LOL I appreciate you greatly, and you are one of the writers I respect and look up to.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I truly have very little faith in the government at times like this, but I have great faith in individuals who show their humanity when they are needed. It all comes down to community, Faith, and I believe strongly in the inherent goodness of mankind.

      Thank you for being living proof of that goodness.

      blessings always,

      bill

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      awesome write billy.. and I agree.. I will write something tonight and the morning.. God Bless you my friend for putting this together., and God bless Linda for suggesting it...

      sharing

      Debbie

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Beautiful and made me cry tonight after all I have been through the last few days. I thank god we weren't among the worst, butt he experience alone was so frightening and really shuck me up. I thank you for putting this message out to help those in neighboring towns where I live, because the devastation that occurred just 5 minutes south of my house on the waterfront properties of many was outrageous and unbelievable. I actually worked at Lindenhurst Schools (the town that many saw on the news) and am still kind of in shock over all the damage there. Thank you again for always being a beacon and light in this community for all of us!! Have voted this way up and of course shared all over!!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, thank you so much for your king words, and thank you for writing something on this theme. One drop at a time we can change this world.

      blessings always,

      bill

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      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Billy, you are very close to the truth of life, a very honest, true and thought provoking hub by saint Billy, and ultimately, the fact is, we are nothing, but we consider ourselves as creator of universe, great write up, voted up and shared.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I have seen this kind of devastation firsthand, and it is brutal and tears lives apart. I feel the pain of those who have to pick up and start over, and of course for those who died. I am grateful that my friends made it through unscathed. Thank you my dear, and thank you for your friendship.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      girishpuri, we are just keepers of the planet during out time here; nothing more,nothing less, but in the time we have we can be shining beacons of love. I pray that we all realize that and do our part.

      blessings to you my friend,

      bill

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Anther way to look at this is the fact: there wasn't always an ocean. It came to be one "tear" at a time. I have observed there are far more excuses than tears.

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      carriethomson 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Why not, we can make a difference ...so what if one person resemble a drop in an ocean. A person hard work,dedication and full effort in some work leads to change, an his effort means a lot. Every single human being contributes a lot.........

      Keep sharing such an interesting topic. Good luck

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      Dahlia Flower 4 years ago from Canada

      Wow, I was going to leave you a comment on this -- your very excellent thoughts you have shared with us -- but I could hardly find the box at the end of the comments so that I can write. That's one big amount of comments!

      And I do agree -- one person can always make a difference. Just like the moral in the story of the little boy throwing the starfish, one by one, back into the sea when the grumpy man came along.

      Voting up and awesome, billybuc.

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      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill, Do you remember Wavey Gravy's statement from the film Woodstock? "There is always a little bit of Heaven in a disaster area." It's true. When men need assistance, others will come to their aid. Yet, there will be some that won't do a thing, simply because it doesn't affect them. I'm curious as to the feeling from the assistance workers in New Orleans right about now. Are they sitting back saying, "Yeah, how many of you guys came to help us after Katrina?" or "Remember when all those guys came down to help us. We've got to help them!" The common sense notion would state that, "You get what you give." Yet, how many expect without ever giving? Just some thoughts. No one has the answers, but they might be questions that we should ask ourselves. Great job, my friend!

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      Deepak Chaturvedi 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks to show your positive views.It a great hub of your side and eye opener for some.Voted up and shared.

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      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Bill - you slice and dice the facts of life and bring them down to their lowest common denominator - for ALL to understand and learn!

      You make a difference in the world - big time - and it's a very positive one!

      The bottom line is that our arrogance is fast becoming our downfall! we forget that no matter what our station in life or color of skin - we all do bleed exactly the same!

      I don't understand what's so damned complicated about it - just treat others with a vestige of empathy - no more or no less than we'd hope to be treated ourselves..

      Doesn't it take just as much energy to make a positive impact as it does a negative?

      one person CAN make a difference! And DOES!

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      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      I guess I am talking for so many others as well as the ones who have already commented when I say a great big thank you to you Billy.

      You have certainly made a difference and I am sharing this one onto my Facebook page Twitter and google+.

      Take care and have a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

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      Tina Truelove 4 years ago

      As I read through all the above comments, I realized I could not possibly say anything to you that has not already been said so many times. This is a wonderful hub and it certainly does provide much food for thought. Yes, one person can make a difference . . . and sometimes we try to fail. I tried to make a difference in a situation yesterday, but was totally ignored by many who I thought would respond. However, I will not stop trying. One single person and one single act can definitely make a difference.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I have to agree with you; we are a nation of excuses and good intentions. :) Thank you Sir!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carrie, thank you for the visit, and of course I agree with you....why not? Let's see what we can accomplish together....I'll meet you in the ocean. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, thank you! I had no idea you were Pamela....I should have asked why you write under two names....oh well, another mystery in life. Yes, I firmly believe we can all make a positive difference; we just have to be willing.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, not might, but should! They are questions that demand answers....and yet I have none. It's the darkness of humanity that still has me confused after all these years.

      Thank you my friend! You are greatly appreciated!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deepak, you are very welcome, and thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, this point has confused and befuddled me my entire life. What is so hard about caring? I could go on and on.....oh, wait, I have :) but I truly do not understand and I need an answer.

      Anyway my dear, thank you for being you. You have greatly influenced me and my writing, and I am proud to be your friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I think most writers make a difference; hopefully a positive one. It is up to us to do that; I think we have a calling in life, to bring beauty and compassion into this world. I know you understand that.

      Thank you dear one; sending hugs across the Atlantic.

      billy

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tina, I believe that with all my heart, and even though you were ignored, the mere fact that you cared enough to try makes a difference. We need compassion and caring in this world, so keep being who you are.

      Thank you for taking the time to add to the discussion!

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      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      One person that came to mind when I was reading this Hub is Jane Addams, born in 1860 just one year before the civil war began. Her mother died when she was four and then her sister died of typhoid fever. Her father experienced great grief, not only from losing his wife and one daughter, but also because of the assassination of his close friend, Abraham Lincoln.

      When Jane was six years old, she was with her father and saw many homeless people in the streets. She stated that one day she would build a big house for all the homeless people, where "children can play in the yard whenever they want".

      As an adult she visited England and observed the way Toynbee Hall provided shelter and basic needs for immigrants. She returned to the U.S. and established the first Settlement House in Chicago, named the Hull House. Childcare, job training, and English classes were all part of the services provided at the Hull House. She believed that all Human beings should be viewed equally, and deserved respect and dignity.

      One individual can certainly make a difference.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, you picked a great example with which to drive home the point. Of course I know the story of Adam's achievements, and I love her desire to find equality. Now, if we only had about ten thousand more of her today, we might be in a little better shape.

      I am a believer, and I'm going to keep spouting off about this subject.

      Thank you Debbie!

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      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow Bill! You've outdone yourself with this beautiful and passionate piece of writing. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and encouraging us all to do more to make a difference. I am a firm believer that every person has the ability to make a difference in this world. In fact, one of my favourite quotes is "“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

      I will certainly do what I can to spread the word about this wonderful initiative started by you and Linda!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathy, thank you my friend, and I agree completely. I love the comments I am getting; it reinforces my belief in the good of people, and hopefully we can get a groundswell of action and really make a huge difference.

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Bill, where do you think you have made a real difference in someone's life? I wish we could all be honest enough to share some of the things that we feel we have done that has made a difference for someone. I'd love to hear how you think you have positively contributed to another human being's existence.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great question Debbie! I know for a fact I made a big difference in the lives of many of my students during the eighteen years that I taught school. I know I made a difference as a single parent raising my son....and I would hope that I now make a difference with my writings. And you my friend?

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Debbie, I for one can testify to Bill having made a difference in my life. He became my friend early on and has been there for me regardless of his schedule. He has prompted me to look beyond myself and give what I have to give to others. Bill is a prophet in today's times. People listen because he speaks from the heart. He bleeds his heart on these pages. Just look at how many followers he has! Bill is an asset to life on this earth. Listen to him. Learn from him. Reach out to him when the need arises; he'll be there. Bill and I live on opposite ends of our continent, but I couldn't have a closer friend.

      Oh yes, Bill has indeed made a difference!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, as soon as I make some real money I'm hiring you to be my agent. :) Thank you my dear; I didn't take Debbie's remark as being negative; I think she was genuinely curious in an intellectual way. At least I hope that's what she was. LOL

      Anyway, you know how I feel about you dear lady, and I appreciate you beyond words.

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      Jordanwalker39 4 years ago from GA

      Awesome, just awesome. Thanks Bill. This made my day.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      Another fabulous article, BillyBuc. You are a philosopher extradinaire! Someday you may want to publish a collection of your essays as an Amazon Kindle book. You have many fans who would love it!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are welcome, Jordan, and thank you for stopping by; now get out there and make a difference. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deborah, thank you my friend; I am humbled by your words and I greatly appreciate them. I actually have several Kindle books out right now, but thank you for the suggestion.

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Bill, I truly am interested in hearing not only your story but others as well, about the little things that each one of us does that we hope makes a difference.

      You have already made a huge difference for me, setting the example of speaking out, speaking your heart, sharing of yourself, and encouraging others in so many ways! I'm sure that there are many other ways that you have made a difference in many people's lives that we don't know about.

      I feel that I have made a difference in some people's lives through my counseling, hopefully giving them hope for a better future, teaching them more productive ways of living life and relating to the important people in their lives, and feeling better about themselves.

      I love to hear what people do to make the world a better place, how they do it, and the special experiences that have shaped who they are.

      The opportunity you had as a teacher to influence young people was wonderful and you continue to teach us here through your writing. Your son was blessed to have you raise him as a single dad, a tough job for anyone.

      Thank you so much for sharing! I don't think there's anything wrong with recognizing where we have invested our time and talents well, in the right places and on the right people.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bless you, Debbie, for sharing, and for making such a difference through counseling, a very important job. No, I don't think there is anything wrong with sharing our efforts; maybe our efforts will be the inspiration that someone else needs to step up to the plate and make a difference.

      Your words are kind my friend; I am blessed to have worked with so many kids over the years. That sense of giving was given to me by my parents, and I believe strongly in it. We can make a difference, each one of us, in our own way and in our own time. Every little act of kindness is a drop in the ocean.

      Thank you my friend!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome Hub so well written and explained and definitely the little one does will a difference to someone's life

    • profile image

      SilverGenes 4 years ago

      Bill, there are a few places where change is happening and roadsigns are posted to guide the way for those of us who want a better life, a better world. Your hubs are at the top of that list. Your words make a difference and have a ripple effect in this ocean. Do you remember the documentary series "Connections" with James Burke? It was a reminder that the smallest acts can and do change the course of human history. Imagine... if one person does something differently today because of what they read here...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, thank you for the kind words. It is very nice of you to read two of my hubs in one day. Have a wonderful weekend.d

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alex, I do remember that series, although I had forgotten it until you mentioned it. I hope you are right....I feel that you are.....the internet is such an impersonal tool to use when trying to reach out to people, that I'm never really sure the message is being received. Anyway, thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 4 years ago from UK

      Now you've gone and done it. Every time I am ready to give up and to allow bitterness and disappointment to overcome me at the cruelty, the greed, the pomposity and the unfairness of this world, I come across someone like you who reminds me of our humanity and I get re-energized. What else can I say? Thank you and I thank Alexandra Lucas for sending me here :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      De Greek, I have to tell you, I battle cynicism daily! I have two options: become a permanent cynic or speak out for compassion and love. I am pleased when I receive comments like this one; it tells me I chose wisely. :) Thank you!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      If we think individually, we are just a drop in the ocean, but if we think collectively we are ocean of people. Your reflections on who we are is soul searching.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinaya, that was a great comment; concise and right to the point. Thank you Sir, and have a great weekend.

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Very well said and very well written! You are right, we all matter and we can all make a difference. Vote up, Billybuc!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Pickles, so nice to see you again. Thank you; this is a subject I feel pretty strongly about.

      Have a wonderful weekend in Virginia!

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      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Bill, you have surpassed yourself! And as I remember it, you said that at one time you doubted your ability to write! This Hub alone is sufficient to show the power that can be carried by your words. I was greatly moved! I am so far away, and here everybody is going on about our recent elections, I haven't been able to get a good journalistic vision of the results of Sandy. maybe I'll get to see an overall report in Sunday's newspaper. I can identify, having lived through 4 major earthquakes! My thoughts are with you all. Voted up, awesome and beautiful.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joan, thank you for the very kind words, I feel better about my writing than I did ten months ago; that's for sure.

      Same old same old here in the United States. A disaster hits and then everyone points out what should have been done before the disaster, and then it takes forever to get relief help to the disaster area. The main problem this time was that the storm caused so much damage over so large an area....six states were affected, and that really stretches the relief help thin.

      Anyway, thank you so much for your kind words; have a wonderful weekend.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Thought-provoking and striking hub! Made me remember the saying 'Charity begins at home.' Every ray of the sun starts in its core - I like to compare people with the sun or the moon - Are we like the sun, warm (hot) emitting love and compassion, or like the moon - only visible in the light of another's light?

      Marian Wright Edelman's words are worthy to ponder forever.

      Thanks, billybuc, for emphasizing our ability to make a difference even while we are only like one drop in the ocean. Together we ARE an ocean....

    • geetbhim profile image

      sangeeta verma 4 years ago from Ludhiana India

      Hi Billybuc!

      Awesome hub! Thanks for reminding, one drop of water can create ripple,only thing is drop should fall on water surface that very first step is important. It is not very easy to sit and watch from thousand million miles away from near and dear one and rely completely upon news channels to get the information.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, thank you and I love the analogy (simile?) of the sun and moon. Yes, we are an ocean, and each person can choose to be a part of that ocean, or be a single drop that evaporates.

      I appreciate your visit and respect you as a person and a writer.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      geetbhim, very good point; it is not easy at all, and the news channels are not the most reliable source of information. :) Thank you for the visit and the great comment.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Awesome write Bill. And you can see so many drops join you in your effort, that now is a wave. Voting up and sharing all over.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, what a wonderful follower you are, and to think we have never met. I love HubPages for exactly that reason; I have friends around the world and I think that is amazing.

      Thank you Sir!

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      Peter Messerschmidt 4 years ago from Port Townsend

      Thought provoking, for sure! And a worthy debate...

      As a species, we seem to suffer a bit from what I call "the cure for cancer syndrome," when it comes to helping and making a difference. That is, we believe our efforts are not "worthwhile" unless we can come up with something truly huge and significant... like "the cure for cancer."

      I believe EVERYthing counts-- which I feel is the essence of the Edelman quote. If we smile at a stressed out cashier, who then feels happier for 10 seconds, pauses for a minute to reflect on this, as a result of which he is NOT in the street when a dump truck loses its brakes (and would have killed him a minute earlier), as a result of which they go home to their brilliant 13-year old, who-- because of her still-alive father's support-- goes on to invent a cure for cancer... see where I am going with this?

      Everything makes a difference, and we never know WHAT will have the greatest impact.

      We got an email from Sears, this morning... saying that we could donate our "bonus points" to Sandy victims, so we did. We remodeled last year, so $500 worth of gift cards are going where they are needed...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Denmark, great comment my friend, and thank you for it. I love that you donated your bonus points to the victims of Sandy. If you are ever in Olympia I'll be honored to buy you lunch and we can sit as friends and talk about life.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Absolutely fantastic Message, Bill. I have read it twice and in the coming weeks I may just read it again. Thank you for being you and for writing.

      Blessings! ~~Theresa

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theresa, obviously I feel strongly about this. Too many people feel overwhelmed and think they can't do anything....nothing could be further from the truth.

      I appreciate your intelligence and compassion, Theresa! Thank you!

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 4 years ago from Close to Heaven

      Billy your writing is very inspirational. Thank you for sharing. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Caroline; that was very kind of you to say!

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      Joanna Chandler 4 years ago from On planet Earth

      This was very interesting, well put together and very deep. Who are we really? we are nobody in a sense cause we wither and die like flowers, we leave everything behind, because we came with nothing ad therefore we cannot return with anthing.

      The only thing that makes us something is the love of GOD, and living right so that we can be something in the hereafter living with Jesus our king forever.

      Yes your right even the animals instincts kicks in better than this human brains that is so filled with pride, self and worldly gains.

      May God have mercy on us all.

      Thanks for sharing billy

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LadyF, there is no doubt that we better hope God is merciful; otherwise we are in a world of hurt when we leave Earth.

      Thank you for the visit; I send you peace and glad tidings on this day of November.

      bill

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