This week I’ve been contemplating the power of one to make a difference in the lives of many.
Monday I attended a lecture by UCR Associate Professor Reza Aslan, author of the New York Times bestselling book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Professor Aslan’s presentation focused on Jesus the historical figure instead of Jesus the religious icon. He stressed to the audience crowded in the large gallery at the Riverside Art Museum that Jesus, the historical figure, had a social mission of empowerment for the poor and the weak. Healers, he explained, were very respected and well-paid during Jesus’ era. These men traveled from place to place, city to city, town to town, healing the sick and performing what at the time were considered miracles. The only difference between them and Jesus, was Jesus did his work for free. And he sent his apostles out with the same directive.
One man…big difference.
Later that evening while watching the final episode of Ken Burns’ documentary The Roosevelts I had a similar thought. I was particularly interested in the vision of the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the longest serving first lady in US history. She was so committed to equal rights, civil rights, and human rights that her entire adult life became devoted to those efforts. She was an outspoken supporter of racial and gender equality, and advocated for civil rights for African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Jewish refugees, women in the workforce, and for the poor and disenfranchised. And even after her husband’s death she served as the first chairperson for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and supervised the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, outlining what should be basic human rights for all people, no matter what religion, nationality, ethnicity, or gender.
One woman…big difference.
This week, our cover story is celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary of Youth Action Project, an organization making a big difference in the County of San Bernardino. YAP has improved the lives of hundreds of college and high school students by empowering them to complete their education, give back to their communities, and help each other succeed. One organization, committed to improving the lives of many, right here in our community.
One organization…big difference.
There is a well-known phrase: “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” Never underestimate the power of one to make miracles happen and improve the lives of many.
To subscribe to my weekly blog Rants & Raves visit theievoice.com/category/publishers-note/rants-raves/ or follow me on twitter @mygoldenstate.