What does making a difference really mean?

I hear a lot of people, a lot of the time, saying they want to make a difference. What does this really mean? How much “different” does something have to be to be counted as a difference – and how much effort is needed to make that difference?

I truly believe small acts of kindness can have an enormous impact. I think the smallest bit of effort, the smallest big of intent can make a huge difference when it’s combined with a huge amount of sincerity and expectations for the best.

I read somewhere, years ago, that instead of looking at the ground when you walk down the street, make a point to smile at people you pass. Not like a scary crazy person on the verge of stalking kind of smile. Just a genuine hello grin rather than avoiding the eye contact. It’s amazing how something so small can change a mood. I have found it makes a huge difference in how I feel about the day when I’ve made the slightest effort to be kind to someone else… with or without a reason. I might be having a super crummy day, but by helping someone else in some way, my own irritants tend to fade into the background. Sure, my problems don’t go away entirely – but they do feel less heavy when I’ve made an effort to share in someone else’s day.

Dragonfly by JGoode
Dragonfly by JGoode

I have found that I tend to get so absorbed in my own schedule, my own needs and my own agenda that I forget to take the time for the little things. I have to remind myself that these little things make a difference to someone else. I have to remember – when I’m gone, I want people to remember me and who I was – not what I had or what material things I gave. Yet, people don’t know who we are unless we share it.

Our gestures don’t have to be grand to have an impact. We don’t have to dedicate hours upon hours of time to show we are here to help. A little note to let someone know you’re thinking about them or a moment to pass on a thought… I believe it’s the realness of it – the genuine aspect that makes the difference.

Put forth the effort and do it sincerely, that’s the key to making a difference.

16 thoughts on “What does making a difference really mean?”

  1. The lesson that I learned from my Mom, was give to others, and you will receive over and over again. I'm not sure I truly understood what she meant until we lost her 9 years ago…..but when there was over 1,000 people at her visitation, I truly understood what giving back to others does- it makes your life more fulfilling and blessed. I've learned that it can be a kind word, a smile, an e-mail, a phone call, or holding someones hand in a time of need…..they all can mean the world.

    Reply
  2. The lesson that I learned from my Mom, was give to others, and you will receive over and over again. I'm not sure I truly understood what she meant until we lost her 9 years ago…..but when there was over 1,000 people at her visitation, I truly understood what giving back to others does- it makes your life more fulfilling and blessed. I've learned that it can be a kind word, a smile, an e-mail, a phone call, or holding someones hand in a time of need…..they all can mean the world.

    Reply
  3. I agree the small details add up and make a difference! It is so true, sometimes I worry about looking great and wearing great things, at the end of the day that doesn't mean anything. How you impact someone's life is important not how you look. Great post.

    Reply
  4. I agree the small details add up and make a difference! It is so true, sometimes I worry about looking great and wearing great things, at the end of the day that doesn't mean anything. How you impact someone's life is important not how you look. Great post.

    Reply
  5. The lesson that I learned from my Mom, was give to others, and you will receive over and over again. I'm not sure I truly understood what she meant until we lost her 9 years ago…..but when there was over 1,000 people at her visitation, I truly understood what giving back to others does- it makes your life more fulfilling and blessed. I've learned that it can be a kind word, a smile, an e-mail, a phone call, or holding someones hand in a time of need…..they all can mean the world.

    Reply
  6. The lesson that I learned from my Mom, was give to others, and you will receive over and over again. I'm not sure I truly understood what she meant until we lost her 9 years ago…..but when there was over 1,000 people at her visitation, I truly understood what giving back to others does- it makes your life more fulfilling and blessed. I've learned that it can be a kind word, a smile, an e-mail, a phone call, or holding someones hand in a time of need…..they all can mean the world.

    Reply
  7. I agree the small details add up and make a difference! It is so true, sometimes I worry about looking great and wearing great things, at the end of the day that doesn't mean anything. How you impact someone's life is important not how you look. Great post.

    Reply
  8. I agree the small details add up and make a difference! It is so true, sometimes I worry about looking great and wearing great things, at the end of the day that doesn't mean anything. How you impact someone's life is important not how you look. Great post.

    Reply

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