As history tells the story, - President John F Kennedy toured the NASA Space Centre in the early 1960’s. He saw a man carrying a broom and walked over to him. “Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?”
“Well Mr President” the janitor replied, “I’m helping to put a man on the moon”
“I’m helping to put a man on the moon”.....
Not, “I’m just the cleaner”, or “I’m not anyone important” or “I keep things clean”
“I’m helping to put a man on the moon”
Globally, and locally, what we do (or don’t do), has an impact on the world. The world we live in today, is the sum of millions and millions of small actions by individuals.
Did you ever stop to think about the things that we use every day, and how many people have contributed to producing each and every item? Think of your phone. Take a really good look at it. Start thinking about what it would take to make it.
- Someone, once upon a time invented each of the materials that make up your phone
- Someone invented the machines that make them, someone operated those machines,
- Someone designed the look of it,
- Someone understood the science that lead to the phone capability and the internet,
- Someone created apps,
- Someone marketed the product,
- Someone put it in a box, and someone sold it to you.
Each person looking at their small part in the chain, probably thought it was unremarkable, nothing special. Very few of these people are famous. And yet mobile phones changed the world as we know it.
Every person has the capacity to change the world, action by action, piece by piece, story by story. Every person’s part is valuable, whether it’s front page news, or known by no-one.
But if we choose a role, paid or unpaid, with intentional awareness like the janitor in NASA; with recognition of our part of the big picture and the value we offer to society - perhaps we might give a little more when it counts, work a little harder, and inspire others to do the same?
Add to that a healthy dose of compassion, and being the change we want to see in the world, aren’t we in fact changing it?
The hashtag #watchmechangetheworld recognises that each of us has the capacity to change the world with what ever level of contribution suits our skills, aptitude and capacity. I have a vision of collecting stories about individuals recognising what part they play in creating a better world. Stories like this are incredibly inspiring for others, and help people to in turn unearth what value they offer. And so it snowballs, and challenges others to make a small contribution.
I have set up a Facebook group for people to share small stories, vignette style just like the Janitor’s words, of small ways they are contributing to a better world.
How would you answer the question - “Who are you, and what are you doing?”
“I’m…… and I …………..”
Head over here, read the stories and when you are ready, add your own. It just takes some deep thought, a little courage, and a few sentences.