Never Doubt That One Person Can Absolutely, Positively Make a Difference

January 15, 2021

Never Doubt That One Person Can Absolutely, Positively Make a Difference


“One person can make a difference,” said John F. Kennedy, “and everyone should try.” Flavaine Carvalho did just that, and is an everyday hero who made a giant difference in a young boy’s life.

She noticed he was bruised and a man with him didn’t let him order food. Then she sprang into action. One detective described the abuse the boy had suffered as torture.

Source: CBS News Story
Handwritten sign that says "Do you need help?"

This Orlando restaurant manager whose attention to detail and courage to intervene by calling the police saved a boy from ongoing abuse. The impact on his life from this point forward from her actions cannot be overestimated.

The idea that an individual can make a difference gets thrown around a lot and can sometimes seem a little daunting or overly idealistic. How can one person change such a big world? What impact does my voice have in an overwhelming cacophony of voices? What should I focus on when so many things are screwed up?

For me, it’s less overwhelming when I see stories like this one, which highlights an absolute truth: we can make a difference for others while living out our everyday lives. The situations in which we can take action for good may not be as drastic as the one in this story of the restaurant manager who correctly identified and reported child abuse, but each of us has the opportunity to positively impact others by the way we live and act on our values. Rescuing a stray dog on the side of the highway, paying for the diapers that the shopper didn’t have enough money for, or helping job-seekers polish a resume or LinkedIn profile may be less life-altering than rescuing a child from an abusive family, and less world-altering than leading a social movement, but they matter. They are a quiet part of that trying that JFK exhorted us to do. We can make a difference in both big and small ways when we pay attention to the people and circumstances around us.

So thank you to Flavaine Carvalho, who followed the “if you see something, say something” rule and made a difference in the life of a young boy—and by extension, the world. I hope you will read the story of her actions and feel as inspired as I did. And I hope that young boy will find joy in life.

© 2021, Glover Gardens

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