In our lives, we are constantly being exposed to people who have changed the world. When we hear their names, we imagine them as giants. We stop and wonder what the world might have been like had these individuals never lived.
Bill Gates. Without him, we might never have had the personal computer.
Mother Theresa. Without her, misfortune, disease, and neglect might have claimed the lives of untold thousands of poor people all across the world.
Abraham. If he’d never existed, who knows if this popular concept called monotheism would have ever taken shape and what alternative religions a couple billion people on the planet might be following? It’s crazy to think about, isn’t it?
So let me throw out an idea that’s not that crazy: Each of us can make the same monumental impact on the world as these people. Really, it’s true! Each of the people I’ve mentioned came from humble, unknown beginnings and rose up to become the world-altering people they’re known as today.
The only difference between them and the billions of people in human history wondering why they couldn’t do what they did is that the former had the courage to act. They had the will and self-confidence to attempt to do the impossible and to push the limits of the human imagination. Whether through technology, charity, or religion, these people believed in themselves and their efforts to make the world a magnificent place to live in.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Is there a point in doing something incredible if I won’t get recognition for it? The answer is categorically yes. Jewish sages teach that the ultimate reason human beings have been granted life is to do good deeds. That means that our ultimate goal should be to do good merely for the sake of doing good.
We have no idea how far a simple act of good intent can go and how many people it can influence. In the end, will any of us be remembered the same way as Bill Gates, Mother Theresa, or Abraham? Most likely not. But by following in their paths of having the courage to act on our dreams and desires for global change, we could be making just as great of an impact.