One person can make a difference

Ever since I started this blog, I have become more acutely aware of the fact that there are many individuals who have made it their life mission to make a positive difference to the world. I’m sure such individuals number in millions, people who want to take action for their communities, help save the environment, help improve the lives of the poor, help improve healthcare access to the sick and disabled. There are social entrepreneurs who want to marry positive social and environmental change into their business model.  Meaningful activism often starts with an individual trying to improve the lives of others, to protect the rights of disadvantaged members of society, to protect ecosystems, and to promote sustainable ways of living.

We live in such cynical times, that this kind of optimism is very heartening.  Instead of drowning in the ocean of helplessless and futility that stems from a “what can one person do” attitude, these individuals press on, confident in their ability to make a positive difference. Thank heavens for such souls…for literally and figuratively speaking, they make the world a better place  indeed.

One person I met recently during my trip to India is Prema Naidu, a lady determined to get people to care about plants, to make the “connection” with Nature, a “connection” that I elaborated upon in my previous blog. 

Hanging plant pots made from old plastic bottles

Nurturing the unused space given to her by a temple in Injambakkam, Chennai (S. India) she has converted the area into a lovely garden where she creates recycled plant holders out of thrown away plastic bottles. On one side, she has created a placid meditation garden for people to take in the greenery in silence and “connect” with Nature. She spends countless hours tending her plants, and has created a compost corner for organic waste, as well as a herb garden. Everything in her green space is recycled and she uses only organic manure. She is as enthusiastic in talking to visitors, as she is in talking and singing to her plants, which is why she believes they are so healthy. (Quirky as this may sound, this is a scientifically proven fact!)

Prema Naidu's motto: Share your love of Nature by gifting a plant

Prema Naidu's motto: Share your love of Nature by gifting a plant

Prema Naidu makes a huge difference to our world by helping thousands of visitors who pass by the temple appreciate plants and the importance of recycling and organic gardening. She reaches out to children and encourages them to give a plant as a gift to their friends instead of plastic toys, so that they can watch and nurture the plant as it grows, so that they can learn to care about a piece of Nature.

Can one person really make a difference?  The answer is a resounding yes, especially if the individual combines all his or her passion and energy towards a mission, a cause that is close to his or her heart. Does the effort have to be extraordinarily huge and famous, attracting huge amounts of money and media attention? Not at all, in fact, there are millions of unsung heroes and heroines quietly making the change that they want to see in the world. And their efforts are just as important as the charity and humanitarian work being done by large institutions and multi-billionaires.

Can you and I make a difference? I think the EcoWALK answer is, we can and there’s no choice….we have to make a difference, if we want to leave any semblance of a beautiful and vibrant planet for our children and their descendants.


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Posted by on Jan 7 2009. Filed under Green Activism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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