THE BLOG
08/20/2013 05:23 pm ET Updated Oct 20, 2013

Can One Person Make a Difference? You Should Certainly Try

You often hear it quipped that one person can't make a difference.

I beg to differ. You can certainly touch the lives of those around you with small, daily acts of kindness. When measured against the vastness of the world these acts may be insignificant, but to the person whose live you have touched, the significance can become profound.

A friend of mine recently reminded me of the power of small acts of kindness, not through his own act, but in a story he shared about a recent experience he had while traveling. I want to briefly introduce you to John O'Leary before I share his recent experience.

John is a survivor. He survived a childhood accident that should have taken his life when he was burned on over 90 percent of his body. He survived the trauma and the pain of this experience, and has exceeded the expectations of every doctor or physical therapist who ever treated John in the days, weeks and months after his accident. In fact he was only given a tiny percentage of a change of surviving his ordeal. But John was not just content to survive. He wanted to live as normal a life as anyone else. He wanted to drive, learn to ski, have a family and more.

I won't say John leads an ordinary life. I would say that John leads an extraordinary life. He has overcome every challenge thrown at him in life. Today he is a husband, a father and a professional speaker and writer. He travels around the United States sharing his message and through his company Rising Above. He is someone that inspires me every day. You should definitely read more about John, and perhaps watch one of the videos he has shared on YouTube.

So I leave John to tell about his recent experience in his own words.

'Please, I'll get that for you."

A long flight delay yesterday meant I wouldn't land until after midnight in Cleveland... and then drive 90 minutes to the hotel. Arriving at 2 a.m., a gentleman met me outside with the above words. He then grabbed my bags and checked me in. He asked what else he could do and I told him I needed a business center to make copies. He didn't have one, but would take care of it for me. Seventy copies of a seven-page document, hand-stapled, waited for me this morning at the front desk.

My friends, can one person change the world? Absolutely. The thing is, it's often not in our extraordinary actions, but in the little things we do for others with extraordinary love.

My friends, one person always changes the world. Let's be that change-agent for those around us today. So pull out the smile, greet them at the door, grab their bags, make the copies and be love for a world starved for it.

It has always been small acts of kindness that have changed the hearts and minds of others. Take each and for look for opportunities to serve others, to provide them some small but significant kindness. Look for opportunities to thank those that are of service to you. Even your gratitude is an act of kindness toward another and has a profound impact.

Let us all choose to change the world, rather than have the world change us.