One Person At A Time

Be The Best of Whatever You Are
Poet: Douglas Malloch

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley-but be

The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;

If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass-
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here,

There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do,
And the task you must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;

It isn’t by size that you win or you fail-
Be the best of whatever you are!


I’ve spent the last hour giving up and crying.  I’m so tired of reaching out to people who make a big difference for advice only to be told that I should be the 50,001 buffalo in the herd following the most beautiful wonderful buffalo do what that buffalo does.  I’m tired of feeling like I can’t make a difference in the big wide field of ignorance (Ignorance is a state of being uninformed (lack of knowledge)) that surrounds epilepsy simply because I can’t figure out how to make a big difference.  I can’t reach thousands or millions.  I can’t be a force to recon with.  I’m INCREDIBLY tired of being told that if I just use determined ink to sign a hefty donation check to THEIR way of making a difference then by making them more wonderful I could in turn make any difference.

For a while, I gave up.  I figured that I can’t do anything that matters at all so I probably ought to just be like all of the people who don’t bother to try (or all of the other buffalo who have tried to make their own differences only to be stampeded back into line with the herd… You better stay where you belong little buffalo… so they gave up trying…).  I even wrote what amounted to an I quit post for here.

The latest  advice that I be one of the herd stung really bad… probably because it came from one of the lead buffalo…

Duh… why would a leader (someone who is SO TOTALLY making a name for himself/herself) bother trying to tell another buffalo how to be a leader even if there is room for thousands of different kinds of leaders who impact thousands of DIFFERENT groups of people.

I sucked it up when I was told that the STATE CAPITAL isn’t important enough to host a 5k because it is out of the way.

I keep sending my mails and emails to the representatives that don’t bother to read them and who don’t bother to respond in under 4 months to the fact that I sent it anyway (note to really REALLY important people… they have AUTOMATED systems that will throw a bone to the losers (the losers who ELECTED your) who email you to make them pretend that the people you represent that are not huge companies actually matter.

I was all set to just say ‘#@&% IT’ and give up.

But I stopped.  Fortunately I have a couple of printouts that I have hanging above my desk that I read again… people who have said “thank you” for a piece of information or for being there or for listening…

I read them and I realized that I may not make any difference in the grand scheme of things.  I may never be heard by more than a couple hundred and then only in passing most of the time… kind of like an irritating little fly…

I may only ever be the tiny voice in the dark that only is heard by one or two… but if that one or two go on to make any other difference then I have made a difference.

I won’t give up.  The job that I must do is the near…

I won’t be silenced even if no one ever reads anything or hears anything I have to say

I won’t stop being the annoying pebble in the shoe of people who can make a difference but choose not to

I won’t stop listening or being a shoulder or trying to bring just ONE candle of light to someone because when it is TRULY dark, one candle can make a big difference

Okay… my pity party is over.  I will finish my coffee and go one with my day


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kim
    Jan 09, 2011 @ 08:04:38

    I did not fail a hundred times, said Thomas Edison. I found 100 ways not to create a light bulb.


  2. Tracy
    Jan 09, 2011 @ 08:08:42

    Thank you for putting in print what so many people think. I have had epilepsy for over 30 years now and just this year have had the courage to tell people other then close friends about it. I hope each day/month/year my voice gets louder and I don’t feel ashamed to have it.
    Keep going strong. By you doing what you are doing it encourages others to become more open.


  3. prakash shrestha
    Feb 27, 2011 @ 22:57:37

    found a place where people become ‘ownself’ and do not brag about what they are not.


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