Can One Person Change the World?

Spring has returned. The earth
is like a child that knows poems.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Can ONE Word change a life? Can ONE Person change the world?

Sometimes it feels like all the words have been said. I mix them up and let them flow in a slightly different order, but it’s apparent the words are the same.

Yesterday, a couple of words I don’t like to hear entered my awareness.

Apathy. Complacency.

I don’t know anyone who would actually LOVE to receive one of these words to define their current state of being. When the words were used, they were not about me…yet, as we talked about the state of the world right now, how so many are feeling helpless, hopeless, complacent, and perhaps even apathetic, I realized something. I realized that, yes, I am complacent…at times, even apathetic. While I would like to believe I am not defined by these words, I have to be honest and say that I absolutely hold these words inside of me…every single day. I hold them inside of me.

Then, every day, I make the choice to move from the space of apathy and complacency into a space of empathy and compassion, one act of love at a time. Normally, it’s these acts of love I share with the world. But those less-inspiring words (and others) are definitely here, and I sometimes struggle with their hold on me.

What I’ve learned to do, most days is to let the apathy and complacency be transformed by simple acts of compassion. Some days, it’s not enough. The world seems beyond my help. Other days, I feel the movement from the less to the more. I feel the opening of my heart as I allow that movement to happen. I feel the expansion of my life as I move through the complacent, sometimes apathetic, business of creating an everyday life.

Today, I’m grateful for these words, and the realization that they live in me. Somehow, that realization is helping me have more compassion for myself.

More compassion for you, too. Because I know we are ALL simply doing the best we can with whatever words are guiding us to take action, or wait complacently (even apathetically) until the next right action comes.

Whatever words are in you today, choose to let them move through you with love. If you’re stuck, consider doing a small act of compassion. Smile at a stranger. Plant flowers. Share a meal with a neighbor. Give to something you care about.

Perhaps this is the way we will change the world…one word, one act, one person at a time.


Sora Garrett
Sora Garrett
Sora Garrett is a highly-creative humanitarian & life-simplification guide who blends her love for writing with her gift of inspiring people to think outside the box. Her fourth book, Simply Enough: Create Space for What Matters is a call to simplify our spaces so we can focus on creating a better world. This book is also a cornerstone of her mentoring circles, where she holds space for deep conversation about what matters while offering creative solutions and meaningful connection to others ready to cultivate more spacious lives of meaning and contribution. When she’s not writing or creating, you can find Sora taking long walks with her mini-schnauzer, working in her garden, sharing time with her life-partner of 44 years, their two grown children and one amazing grandson, or skiing/hiking in the mountains of Idaho where everyday miracles can be found.

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    • thank you, Larry, and yes that’s the point. We change our life by reaching out to make small (or big) positive changes in the world around us. Ultimately, it’s changing our perspective that will grow into the bigger change.

  1. Yes, Sora one person can change the world. But it takes the one that will turn into many. It all about leading others to where they need to go in business today and in life itself. And it is about being a part of something bigger than yourself. Because people must believe a common cause or goal. People must have the “buy-in”. Because like what John C Maxwell says in his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” ( Law #14, The Law of the Buy-In) if people don’t Buy-In into you, they won’t Buy-In into anything. I truly believe that we all have a part to play in business and in life itself. We must understand our part. So when we Buy-In into a cause, job, mission or any thing else. We must have the Law of the Buy-In working with us and with others. Let’s talk about this and so much more. Please reach out to me and let’s connect.

    Chris Berryman

    • … thank you for your enthusiastic reply, Chris. I agree with business and business leaders being part of the bigger ripple by impacting their teams & organizations. This post was written more from a personal & humanitarian perspective, but all the small changes, one by one by one, create a tide of change that ultimately changes the world.