I wrote this post on my way to Taiwan on 19th June.
I’m sitting in a plane a few thousand miles above any visible land. Just a couple of hours ago, my plane took flight from Singapore’s internationally renowned Changi Airport. As the plane left the tarmac surface and began it’s ascent, the people and buildings on the ground began to become smaller and smaller, as we went further and further upwards.
Observing the small figures running around and going about their daily lives, I couldn’t help but realize how small each and every one of us actually were. How insignificant we were in size, and if we looked at it that way, how little our impact would be. Yet this is utterly untrue. Each person has the potential to affect the people around them, and, in the right time and place, to affect the whole world, whether in a good or bad way.
Many people come to mind: Michael Jordan, Hitler, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, George Bush.
But if we were to remain stuck in the mindset that we are small, and that because we are only one person in a billion, we cannot do anything of value that can affect anyone, we would never, ever be able to unlock that potential within us.
A recent article in our local newspaper talks about how a teacher, at a graduation ceremony, gave an unusual speech on how none of the students in front of him were special. He mentioned how even if any one of them were one in a million, there were billions of people on earth, and there would still be thousands of these so-called “special” people.
I think he missed the point. Being special has nothing to do with being different from everyone else in the world. Rather, it is your distinctive ability to contribute to the people and the world around you that makes you special. If you are part of a thousand people who make significant impacts on the world day in day out, you are still special. You are special precisely because you have unlocked your potential, and used your unique set of abilities and skills to change the world around you and make it a better place.
Remember this whenever you begin to feel like a small “zero” in the midst of a multitude of names and faces. You are a perfect “one” who has the potential to make the world a better place. The question is, will you be willing to believe this, and work towards it?
It’s time to start looking outside of yourself, unleash your potential, and and be world-changers. There are plenty of opportunities out there, because there are many needs to be met. A great example is Youth Without Borders, an organization founded right here in Singapore by a friend of mine, which seeks to bring together a community of Singaporean and Global youth leaders who are keen to use new media, technology and their various talents for good.
Go out and make a change today.