A Night With A Mosquito
‘If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito’. - African proverb.
Not by choice, but I can now say I have experienced this. I've been on this road trip across the United States and somewhere in Kansas, I pulled off for the night to sleep as per usual (cause most humans need sleep). As was my routine I moved around my gear to clear my bed space, laid out my sleeping bag, cracked the window slightly next to me and put the bug netting over it, took off my shoes and crawled inside my home on four wheels. I'd say I got super cozy and snuggled into my bag, but in truth it was hot and humid that night. So I laid on top of my bag and stripped of all reasonable clothes. After a minute or two of lying there in slight misery, I heard the noise that all people of all nations dread; the faint buzz of that little blood-sucking nemesis.
Paranoid, lying there exposed, and enclosed in a small space, my mind started doing the typical mosquito survival response; waving hands periodically and spastically slapping different parts of your exposed body at every phantom nerve stimuli (you all know you've done this).
I had heard this proverb not but a few months ago and I remember finding it amusing, intriguing, and thought provoking. I found myself thinking, "Oh I bet, that would be awful!" without knowing that I would encounter this experience just down the road (literally and chronologically). Although this may be an amusing story for you (at my expense), I think the lesson I learned that night was actually pretty profound to me. I've always had a mentality that one person can make a difference, but this solidified it for me.
I hear people say a lot "I'm just one person, what could I do?". Or "No one cares what I think, I'm don't have much to offer." Lies, lies, lies! One person can make a difference! Let's look at a few examples. Let's look at for example, a fairly renown guy; Benjamin Franklin. This guy was a stud; I should like to have met him. He was an inventor of many useful apparatuses and ideas, he was one of the five people on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence, he was an author, he played a large part in the establishment of the University of Pennsylvania, and many other notable acts. Just one guy has shaped the history and future of a nation and a society.
"Oh but he's the rarity David, I'm just an average person" you say... Ok, let's look at an average person. I personally have a friend, who shall go un-named, that is an average person. This average person went to a normal school, got a normal degree, works a normal job, got married and has a typical 'average' life. This person also, despite certain personal insecurities and doubts, has been the parent of 4 children, 1 of which is a foster child, has been a founder of a non-profit benefiting lives, and constantly meets with individuals and pours into those relationships in meaningful ways. I use him specifically as an example because of his self-admitted insecurities. There is not much in him that is genetically a world-changer, a confident go-getter, or movement starter. But look what he's done; he's had 4 beautiful children that are growing up to be mature, intelligent people. One of those children has been rescued from a drug and abusive home and adopted into a loving family. This alone, raising a family well, is impactful. Someone had to raise Benjamin Franklin, Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, Aristotle, William Willburforce, John F. Kennedy, and David Wahlman. The list goes on, but raising a family is an obvious way that an average person can have impact (and if you feel called to foster care or adoption, that is also an amazing impact). My friend had also started this non-profit, not because he felt confident or that he had more to offer, but because he chose to step into action regardless. And he constantly pours into the life of individuals because time and fellowship is what he has to offer. What an amazingly superior, 'average' man.
This reason said friend was above average (and the reason I want you to be impactful) is because he chose to be. He took action, regardless of whether he thought he was worthy enough, smart enough, or good enough. This is what I want for you; to realize that you can make a difference for good by simply taking action. "Greatness is a lot of small things done well" You don't have to go start a national corporation today, but maybe you can smile at someone on the subway, or give an extra hug to your kids today, or say hello to the homeless whether you give them money or not, or be the best employee you can possibly be.
In the end, it's about intentionality! So today (and tomorrow) go be a mosquito in your small world and suck all the opportunity out of life you can.