“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” – President John F. Kennedy
When I stumbled upon this quote on Pinterest one day, I automatically re-pinned it to my “Wise Words & Simple Sayings” board. As someone who’s passionate about service and philanthropy, it was a a no-brainer as to why the words spoke so closely to my heart. I’ve always held onto President Kennedy’s words, so much that you can find them printed on the back of my business card.
I’ve literally branded myself with these words. #PRProbs
Recently I’ve struggled with my self-worth, global-value and own wellbeing. To say that the past few months have been rough would be an understatement. I’ve been unable to roll with the punches and stand back up after being kicked down. I tried to make myself invisible, just to prove to myself that people didn’t need me. I threw myself into every situation possible with the intent to end in a stress-induced self-destruction. It hasn’t been healthy. It hasn’t been fun. I know both of these facts. Yet here I am every day trying to feel some sort of importance in this huge world.
Did you know that there’s about 7 billion people on this planet right now? 388 thousand children were born today. 162 thousand people have closed their eyes indefinitely. Over 19 million people celebrated a birthday. 20,000 Americans went home newly-unemployed today. 1.1 billion people around the globe didn’t have access to electricity today.
With statistics like these, how are we supposed to be that one? How are we supposed to make a change, make a difference and prove to not only the world but also to ourselves that we as one single individual matter?
Tonight I was reminded that I have been that one person who made a difference.
Tonight was Gamma Sigma Sigma’s elections, and I didn’t stand behind the podium for a single second of it. I’ll admit that while this was the organization that paved the way for me to find myself, it’s also the organization that led me astray without even realizing it. See, in my eyes – I didn’t matter. Things will continue on exactly as they always do, whether Kristin Funderburk blinks or not.
“I know you have a goal to stand behind that podium one day. Don’t let one set-back keep you from achieving that goal.” -Kristin Funderburk
When I said these words last spring, I did whole-heartedly mean them. But I also was just supporting a sister. In my eyes, nothing I said that night was anything important. But they stuck, and tonight I sat there and listened to the difference they made in someones life. It might be subtle. I may be too emotional about it. I’m not sure – but when I heard them repeated during a speech I couldn’t help but cry.
I’ve only ever had one other person extend the gratitude of my words and existence back to me. Fall of 2013, I was thanked for being supportive and helping someone adjust to not only to Gamma Sigma Sigma, but also a new college life as a whole. I didn’t think much more than, “Aww, how sweet,” back then – but now as my days here are numbered, I’ll never be able to express how much that letter means to me as a person.
It’s completely cheese-y, and I’m sure the two I’m talking about (because they know who they are) think I’m 100% weird and overly-sensitive. But I just wanted to take a second to thank them – thank them both for reminding me tonight that I have mattered.
All in all, even through your darkest days you can find the light that helps you make the difference. Maybe you didn’t save the world, and maybe you haven’t ended poverty – but you did give someone else the courage and strength to put their whole heart into something that matters, and because of that – you’ll always matter.