One in Service, Celebrating Michael by Diana Foley
(Things I Learned from Michael Jackson:
#10 "One Person Makes a Difference")
In thinking about service to our fellow humans, the idea is so incredibly overwhelming, it’s easy to feel immobilized. The world is so big and there are so many needs to be met. I am reminded of the Peanuts comic strip in which one of the characters remarks, “I love Mankind…it’s People I can’t stand!” It’s easy to think about “service” in the abstract, but it’s more difficult (and the needs are so vast) to think concretely about what I can do in the here and now. Where and how does one start?
I love the story of the Starfish: it is probably familiar to most of you, but I think it bears repeating. (original story by Loren Eisley):
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they will die.”What can one person do? I recall a sermon I heard years ago. Relying on VERY long term memory (and with undying respect for Rev. Jenny Warren), it went something like this: Noah saved all the animals and his family from being lost in the great flood. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. Abraham listened to God and became the father of a great nation. Esther saved her people from extinction by using her influence with the King.
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you know there are miles and miles of beach, and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference.”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the ocean. Then, smiling at the man, he said, “I made a difference for that one!”
Think of each of these people, who was “ONLY ONE PERSON” before you bemoan the fact that there is little one person can do.
Each of us is “only one person.” Michael was “only one person.” Yes, I know the comparison doesn’t seem fair on the surface. But, suppose he had been overcome with the idea of “I’m only one person?” Think hard about that, and you will realize what the world might have never known.
I believe that each of us comes to this life with our own 'marching orders'. “There are many gifts, but one Spirit that gives them.” (I Corinth. 12:4). We are not here by accident. Each of us has our own role to play in this Dance of Life, each of us has our own unique contributions to make for the betterment of the world. My prayer for each of us, is that we find (or expand) what we are supposed to do, and do it with gusto. That, I believe, is the real celebration that Michael would want. ~ Diana, in Call For Love, Aug 28, 2011 (thank you, Diana, for allowing us to post here too :)
- Also, please see the comments below... or this post (Charity Projects for MJ's Birthday) and this post (Helping the Children of Somalia) ...for info about some of the wonderful charitable projects Michael Jackson fans have created and/or participated in to commemorate Michael's birthday and to carry on his legacy of healing the world. Thank you & much love, MJ-family!
Read more of this series: Things I Learned from Michael Jackson.
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