Friday, May 14, 2010

The Difference One Person Can Make

In 2004, Jeremy Gilley launched his Peace One Day movement with his documentary movie of the same name:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=deCYwMnPMro

What difference, do YOU think, one person can make?

11 comments:

Mirjana said...

The awareness that all people on this planet can agree about one thing and then stay by this, this has already been a huge change. And yes, it also shows that the actions of one person can affect the world, which means that we all, each one of us can make a difference. It is a question of personal choice that takes civil courage to stand behind it.

Molly Brogan said...

This organization, Peace One Day, ( peaceoneday.org )is based on the premise that each of us can make a difference by working in concert. Much like Howard Zinn's message that social efficacy depends on organization in one voice, Peace One Day encourages each of us to take a stand for peace in our lifetime.

Can we really make a difference? Do the actions of one person effect the world?

Lisa said...

Yes-maybe, but it is a very messy affair. Most organisations portray a certain one voice type attitude, but peel back the first layer, and what you usually find at least on several levels are layers of pure war-mongering, subtle and overt. The push the pull, pure friction. People going against the grain of each other, the craziness (and beauty) of the interpersonal realm with all its worldview conflict, shadow and moments of 'ahhhhhhhh' clarity to the vision, whatever that may be.

Its a nice idea though. What do you think Molly?

Molly Brogan said...

I think that ultimately, the difference we make is within, realizing states and stages. Given that, we are called to action in our manifest experience. There was a time in my life where I was called to work with social organizations, having been offered much needed (I needed the income) work by companies and government offices to create social programs of a local, state and national level. I did indeed have to look beyond much of the conflict you refer to Lisa, and find the common ground for everyone so that we could move forward together and the programs were successfully implemented.

I think the way we make a difference may change in different states and stages of integration. Our experience calls us to participate in ways that we can make a difference when it is important for us to complete particular states and stages before moving into greater states and stages of integration that do not require it, where there isn't perceptive difference, where there is a non dual recognition of all that is. Lately, my moments call me to make a difference in my own internal environment before it is reflected in my external experience.. The more subtle and immediate this becomes, the less I am called into the larger social experience. The paradox for me is, although I am more reclusive than ever in my day to day life, I reach people on a more global level with my writing than ever before. My current experience seems to require of me less physical interaction and more interaction of spirit.

Lisa said...

Hi Molly, ~ its very interesting reading that. Two things jump out at me, which I have somewhat been contemplating over the last week or so.

"Our experience calls us to participate in ways that we can make a difference when it is important for us to complete particular states and stages before moving into greater states and stages of integration that do not require it, where there isn't perceptive difference, where there is a non dual recognition of all that is." - Molly

I've been thinking about this particularly. I think there is a lot of truth in it. And then what I cannot fathom is a simple point between how this relates to what people are called to/ or moved to do and the question of self actualisation & self transcendence - as two distinct routes which land people in very different landscapes within themselves, and in relation to service and giving their authentic gifts to the world.

For example, does self actualisation
act like a springboard for self transcendence ~ or are these orientations, which I think are important to consider in relation to your ponderance more like the difference between a cul de sac (road with a dead end) & a flowing river?


"The more subtle and immediate this becomes, the less I am called into the larger social experience. The paradox for me is, although I am more reclusive than ever in my day to day life, I reach people on a more global level with my writing than ever before. My current experience seems to require of me less physical interaction and more interaction of spirit." -Molly

I definitely understand what you are saying there Molly, and you put it very eloquently. I am thoroughly facinated by this apparent paradoxical happening. It seems like a sophisticated process, and like a very full and subtle shift ~ I think this is what we fall into once are motivations are annihilated into the authentic self, psychic being led. That sort of thing. The nice thing about the current time in history we are living in, is that we no longer have the brush the rest of ourselves under the carpet. Or sit in caves, or give in such a self sacrificing way that we don't look after ourselves and our responsibilities etc etc.. All in the consciousness, recognising itself, at last...:)

David said...

Yes, I think it is possible to make a difference. I often think of Ken Wilber when I ponder this question. I think he has made an extraordinary difference for so many people. He is not the only one, of course, but he has been one person who made the decision to evolve as much as he could and to serve as much as he could--he thinks that meditation, for example, is an offering. I think that's a great way to look at it. It may be better even for moksha to look at it as an offering rather than a vehicle for one's own salvation.

And I think each person should do the best they can to contribute and make the right choices for everyone given their abilities and gifts. Not everyone will be living in a Mexican prison like Mother Antonia. Some may have gifts as a writer and share in that way. Doing more might even detract from one's core Work, though sometimes stretching ourselves is really the best thing we can do to free ourselves.

I think our actions do affect the world, and if everyone made the conscious choice to a boddhisattva or saint to some such thing to the best of their ability I think amazing energy would start to flow all around.

I also resonate with Lisa's point about most organizations. Usually there is a subtle war being waged under the surface if not on the surface. If it's a liberal organization they are at war with conservatives much of the time, at war with corporate interests, not that those interests don't need to be kept in check, they do. But I think an integral perspective that sees the proper place and value of all these schools and perspectives is really key to moving forward.

Jackie said...

I think its all a chain reaction (including karma).

"The Chain of Love" by Clay Walker.

He was driving home one evening,
In his beat up Pontiac
When an old lady flagged him down,
Her Mercedes had a flat
He could see that she was frightened,
Standing out there in the snow
'Til he said I'm here to help you ma'am,
By the way my name is Joe

She said I'm from St. Louis,
And I'm only passing through
I must have seen a hundred cars go by,
This is awful nice of you
When he changed the tire,
And closed her trunk
And was about to drive away,
She said how much do I owe you
Here's what he had to say

You don't owe me a thing, I've been there too
Someone once helped me out,
Just the way I'm helping you
If you really want to pay me back,
Here's what you do
Don't let the chain of love end with you

Well a few miles down the road,
The lady saw a small cafe
She went in to grab a bite to eat,
And then be on her way
But she couldn't help but notice,
How the waitress smiled so sweet
And how she must've been eight months along,
And dead on her feet

And though she didn't know her story,
And she probably never will
When the waitress went to get her change,
From a hundred dollar bill
The lady slipped right out the door,
And on a napkin left a note
There were tears in the waitress's eyes,
When she read what she wrote

You don't owe me a thing,
I've been there too
Someone once helped me out,
Just the way I'm helping you
If you really want to pay me back,
Here's what you do
Don't let the chain of love end with you

That night when she got home from work,
The waitress climbed into bed
She was thinkin' about the money,
And what the lady's note had said
As her husband lay there sleeping,
She whispered soft and low
Everything's gonna be alright, I love you, Joe

Jackie said...

I think its all a chain reaction (including karma).

"The Chain of Love" by Clay Walker.

He was driving home one evening,
In his beat up Pontiac
When an old lady flagged him down,
Her Mercedes had a flat
He could see that she was frightened,
Standing out there in the snow
'Til he said I'm here to help you ma'am,
By the way my name is Joe

She said I'm from St. Louis,
And I'm only passing through
I must have seen a hundred cars go by,
This is awful nice of you
When he changed the tire,
And closed her trunk
And was about to drive away,
She said how much do I owe you
Here's what he had to say

You don't owe me a thing, I've been there too
Someone once helped me out,
Just the way I'm helping you
If you really want to pay me back,
Here's what you do
Don't let the chain of love end with you

Well a few miles down the road,
The lady saw a small cafe
She went in to grab a bite to eat,
And then be on her way
But she couldn't help but notice,
How the waitress smiled so sweet
And how she must've been eight months along,
And dead on her feet

And though she didn't know her story,
And she probably never will
When the waitress went to get her change,
From a hundred dollar bill
The lady slipped right out the door,
And on a napkin left a note
There were tears in the waitress's eyes,
When she read what she wrote

You don't owe me a thing,
I've been there too
Someone once helped me out,
Just the way I'm helping you
If you really want to pay me back,
Here's what you do
Don't let the chain of love end with you

That night when she got home from work,
The waitress climbed into bed
She was thinkin' about the money,
And what the lady's note had said
As her husband lay there sleeping,
She whispered soft and low
Everything's gonna be alright, I love you, Joe

Diego said...

I think that each person is able to make a difference with the fact of
believe and do things to reach its own goals.
The people whose do every things well.
The people whose is concentrated to success can make difference.
The problem is if the difference is done because of bad actions.

Vam said...

By emphasising on the result ... ' make a difference ' ... ' effect the world ' ... we perhaps are taking the meaning away from our self. Peace is ( in ) my nature. Therefore, I choose peace always. Any campaign that brings people in touch with this simple realisation would be great, no matter the size of its reach or spread. And there are numerous campaigns at work the world over.

I believe most people, and definitely most women, are already there. It is the deprivations, frustrations and alienations ... much natural, much much man made ... that twist and distort us out of our ( substratum ) nature. That's where campaigns could help. The change should be hitting at institutionalised greed, apathy and violence. For instance, so long as it is legal ( and right ) for me to have my feast while others die of hunger ... till then collective peace would remain breached and divided.

carcharanon said...

Definitely, I agree that one person can make all the difference. All of us follow the thoughts of a handful of men, and all our great inventions were the result of individual thought (for the most part), many tracing back to what we call antiquity.

The goal of world peace is noble, but the means to achieve it is, not surprisingly, individual by individual, through a solution to what we might call insanity. I don't mean insanity in a clinical sense of schizophrenia or psychosis, but the commonplace insanities of, well, you name it: abuses, greediness, frustrations, egocentrism, and so on.

In order to find a solution to insanitites, I think a definition of true sanity is necessary, first.