One man believed that since he couldn't make a difference it wasn't worth making an effort, and then he learned a valuable lesson.
Gary Turbot loved nature, and every day he would get up an hour earlier so he could jog in a wilderness park close to his home. Gary often complained about the way people were destroying the habitat, but he did little more than talk.
Gary knew that no matter what he did, it just wasn't going to make a difference. He could reduce his carbon footprint, recycle to his heart's content, but it wasn't going to have an impact on the greater scheme of things.
Still, Gary was determined to enjoy the beauties of nature while they still existed, and so he jogged in the park and breathed in the sharp scent of pine and wildflowers.
Mysterious lady by the lake | Source: Shutterstock
Usually, Gary had the park all by himself, but on Sundays there was always a woman there, sitting by the small lake n the center of the park. Gary had seen her walk in a few times, and she always carried a curious metal cage.
Gary would wonder what the cage was for, who the woman was, but then he would job by, and leave his curiosity behind. One Sunday Gary decided to approach the woman, and clear up the mystery.
Gary walked up to the woman and greeted her. Close up, he could see that she was a lot older than her slim figure and energetic walk had led him to believe. The woman smiled at Gary, and he saw the cage on the bank next to her.
Enjoying nature at the park | Source: Unsplash
The cage, Gary could now see, was in fact a trap, and inside it were three small turtles. The woman was holding a fourth turtle in one hand, and on the other, she held -- of all things -- a sponge brush.
As Gary watched she continued scrubbing the turtle's shell which he now saw was covered with a film of green algae. Gary couldn't resist. He said: "Excuse me, I don't mean to be nosy, but...What are you doing?"
The woman smiled: "I'm helping this little fellow out! This scum on his shell stops him from absorbing heat, and sometimes it can even affect his swimming. And the algae also weaken nd corrode the shell."
Fresh water turtle | Source: Pexels
Gary was perplexed. "I see...But...Why do you do this?"
The woman was surprised. "To help, of course. Why else? I've been coming here every Sunday for years."
"For years? Wow! That's dedication...But is it really worth all this effort?" Gary asked.
"Of course it is, " the woman replied, "It's the least I can do."
I make a difference | Source: Pexels
"Look, please don't take this the wrong way, but have you thought about how many turtles there are in the world with scummy shells? You can't help them all, you can't make a difference, so why bother?"
The woman started laughing. "Oh, dear! I can't get to every turtle in the world, but I can help these, and if these little fellows could talk, they'd tell you I've made a big difference in their world!"
Gary was humbled by the woman's determination to make a difference, as small as it might be, to make life better in this tiny lake. In the small park, her small contribution had a huge impact.
Changing the world | Source: Pexels
Gary learned a very important lesson: we all have the power to change the world -- not all at once, or maybe even not all of it ever, but one good deed at a time goes a long long way.
If we could all give two hours out of our week to improving the world around us just the tiniest bit, we would be amazed at how huge the impact of our collective good deeds would be. We'd change the world.
Any resemblance in this story to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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