At times, the world seems so big and overwhelming, we may wonder how anything we do can ever make a difference. We might feel this way especially when we see suffering and contention and wish we could do something about it. At such times, it helps to remember the obvious truth that this big world is actually made up of individuals—millions and billions of them, each with a heart and feelings and desires. So often, that which is simple, small, and quiet has the most profound effect on another’s heart.
For example, students remember the teacher who sincerely cares about them, who takes time to know them, and who cheers them on. Neighbors appreciate that person who goes about doing good in the neighborhood—cleaning up, helping out, being friendly. Likewise, friends cherish friends who make efforts to stay in touch, who continue to reach out, who take the time to show that they care.
We make a difference in the world by making a difference in someone’s life—one person at a time. Every act of kindness, no matter how small, makes the world a kinder place. Every little effort to improve—to do a little better and be a little better—makes the world that much better too. That’s how we create the world we want to live in!
The poet Emily Dickinson gave us a clear picture of such simple yet powerful goodness:
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
Yes, there are many broken hearts and fainting robins in the world today. We can’t prevent every tragedy or heal every wound. But maybe we “can stop one heart from breaking.” Maybe there’s one ache we can ease, one pain we can cool. Most people will never see you do such acts of kindness, but these small efforts are often the ones that matter most, the ones that are never forgotten, the ones recorded on heaven’s ledger.
After all, every great thing is really just an accumulation of many simple, small, and quiet things.
 Poems by Emily Dickinson, ed. Mabel Loomis Todd and T. W. Higginson (1892), poem number VI, page 18.
March 28, 2021
Broadcast Number 4,776
The Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
Unfold, Ye Portals, from The Redemption
The Ground, from Sunrise Mass
Praise the Lord with Drums and Cymbals
When You Wish upon a Star, from Pinocchio
Leigh Harline; arr. Michael Davis
Have I Done Any Good?
Will L. Thompson; arr. David A. Zabriskie
When the Saints Go Marching In
Spiritual; arr. John Rutter