Saturday, September 17, 2011

Great Ideas


Problems are everywhere. Some are not that big a deal, others are life and death. Around our world today some of the worst problems we face are related to access: access to food and clean drinking water; affordable and environmentally friendly power; housing, medical care, etc...

We are tempted to believe that these problems are insurmountable; that nothing we do can make a difference. It reminds me of the story of the man who was walking along the beach. It was low tide and the beach was littered with stranded starfish that had been left on the beach as the tide had gone out. As he walked he noticed a boy further down the beach who was picking up starfish and throwing them out into the water. When he finally reached where the boy was he spoke to him. He said, "Why are you doing this, it's such a long beach and there must be millions of starfish, you can't possibly think that you're making a difference." The boy picked up a starfish and, once again, threw it as far as he could back into the water. He looked back at the man and said, "I made a difference to that one."

That is the kind of spirit that motivates the two people I'm highlighting today. The first is Michael Pritchard, who took on the challenge of turning filthy water into pure drinking water. His story is presented in the TEDGlobal video below. The second is a man whose name I don't know. The video shows his ingeneous idea to use a 2 liter bottle, water and bleach to light homes in poor neighborhoods in the Philippines. This idea is transferable to many other places.

Take a look at these videos and then take a different look at some of the problems we're facing. Perhaps your idea can make a difference to somebody, just the way these have. And remember what Mother Teresa said, "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."




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The KIVA Story - Changing Lives.
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Unsung Heroes - Sandra Tineo
The 8 Nations of Innovation - Rick Warren

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