What can one person do?

Problems in our world abound.  Issues like global poverty, mortality rates, wide-spread corruption seem to be everywhere.  So who should do something about it?  Government?  Some big non-profit organisation?  Should business be forced into new regulations?  If these groups can’t or won’t make needed to change to solve the world’s problems, then who will?

Every once in a while I come across the romantic notion that one person could make a world of difference.  That’s all it is, right–a romantic nation?  What could one person possibly do?

What can one person possibly do?  That’s the question indeed.

This week, I was privileged to be present for a conversation with Richard Adams and Joel Edwards, among a group of other interested people, at my college: St. John’s College, Durham University.  These two epitomise what one person can do to change the world.  Both men have strong ties to St. John’s.  They were in Durham and were kind enough to share some of their thoughts and experiences with us.

As a young man, Richard Adams traveled to from England to India to visit a friend who was researching for his PhD.  There he started with a simple idea: pay the producers of goods a living wage for their export products that are sold in developed nations.  So, Richard was a pioneer in the FairTrade movement.  There is much more to the story.  Read more about it here.

Joel Edwards is a pastor and ministry leader who is based in the UK.  I first met Joel in September, and we immediately connected because of our similar interests.  Joel heads up the Micah Challenge.  Its goal?  Oh, just a few little things: 1. Cut world-wide poverty in half by 2015. 2. Expose corruption and mismanagement in government–worldwide.  3. Empower women and men alike to be change-makers in their  contexts.  And that’s just the start!  What is his method for doing this?  By not only putting pressure on those in leadership, but also by informing and inspiring people, world-wide, at a grass roots level.   Watch the video about the Exposed petition here.

What can one person do?

These two men remind me that the one can do MUCH more than we could imagine.

So, what will you do?

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go work to bring about change with the gifts God gave me…

Richard Adams (l) and Joel Edwards at St. John's College on Monday 09 December 2013.

Richard Adams (l) and Joel Edwards at St. John’s College on Monday 09 December 2013.


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