Jan 1, 2013
While it sounds like a great idea theoretically, can one person do anything at all that would make a significant difference? A truly far-reaching positive difference?
Most folks would love to contribute something powerful to improve the human condition but, when it comes to implementation, they're at a complete loss. Everything just seems too overwhelming today.
A tremendous number of people feel just like the lyrics to the classic song by the band Ten Years After that say, "I'd love to change the world but I don't know what to do."
Can one person really change the world or not? What is the truth?
Yes. One person really can change the world for good. Keep reading and find out how through my own incredibly bizarre experience.
How To Change The World
Several years back, I was in a restaurant at a Los Angeles area hotel, waiting for a business appointment who never showed up.
I grew increasingly upset as time went on, and I rolled my eyes in frustration at an Asian man who had been sitting around for just as long as I had. He asked if he could by me a coffee and sit at my table. His limo driver had flaked-out on him.
He seemed like a nice guy, though his English was difficult to understand through a strong Chinese accent. My limited Mandarin Chinese didn't help too much, but we somehow managed to understand each other.
Apparently, he had called for a taxi four times, but still no cab. Oddly, no taxicabs were in front of the hotel either. He asked if I could possibly drive him to LAX, even offering money, because he feared he would miss his flight back to China.
My vibes told me it would be cool, so we jumped into my car and onto the freeway.
We got chatty while driving through L.A. and he asked me if we could talk candidly. When I agreed, he asked me why so many Americans were stupid enough to believe in religion and all its "fairy tales."
He emphatically stated his agreement with the famous quote by Karl Marx, "Religion is the opiate of the masses."
I explained my view that institutional religion can be very different from a personal spiritual awakening, a transformation or a relationship directly with God.
I told him that in America, there are endless kinds of spiritual experiences that people have, and that personal freedom is the top priority of our national Constitution and of most Americans.
I asked my new Chinese acquaintance what he did for a living. He showed me his government ID. He was a high-ranking Communist official in the Chinese government. I was not surprised.
By the time we arrived at LAX, we had discussed a volume of subjects, including politics, religion, Hollywood, human rights, Communism and various aspects of freedom and control.
When I helped him take his bags out of my car, he thanked me graciously for the ride, but he also told me how foolish and ignorant he thought I was. Alrighty then! I bit my lip, forced a smile and waved before driving off.
Four Years Later
Some colleagues and I were exiting the lobby of another hotel where we had attended a conference. An Asian man ran up to me and started hugging me.
My comrades came close to punching the guy as they thought I was being attacked. I recognized his face in time to call off the dogs.
The man I recognized as the Chinese politician looked different, and his English was tremendously improved. It was strange to see him smiling too.
We decided to get some coffee and get reacquainted, so I said goodbye to my colleagues and grabbed a table.
My Chinese acquaintance talked excitedly and said that he prayed he would see me again someday. Prayed?
After our previous chat, he had returned to China and later met a woman whom he fell in love with. He described her as "one of those Jesus people."
He had become rather obsessed with her, though, so he spent a lot of time with her, talking about personal liberation, individual freedom, and certain unalienable rights endowed by the Creator.
He actually listened to what his girlfriend had to say. He had previously heard it all on the way to LAX, so it rang familiar. He decided to give God a try, and he married the woman.
He and his wife later decided to become pastors and build a church --- in Communist China --- no easy task.
Because of his decades in government, along with his many political connections, the Chinese government actually allowed him to build "a small church."
The couple's ministry attracted five times more people than the building could hold. Surprisingly, they were allowed to expand the church. Eventually, they built six more buildings in an attempt to handle the exploding church membership.
Apparently, the pastor's message of forgiveness, freedom, prosperity and unconditional love became the hottest thing in his province. His church even attracted people who drove for several hours from neighboring provinces.
Most surprisingly, the pastor and his wife obtained permission to broadcast church services on television, which attracted a thousand times more people than could ever fit in all his church buildings with seven services per day.
The demand far exceeded the supply. From that point, the message of real hope began spreading across mainland China.
My Chinese friend was very animated as he told me about the crime rates that plummeted, the poor who were being fed everywhere, and the entrepreneurial spirit that was taking hold of China.
Income levels rose, sharing increased, and the central government did not stop it because of the record amounts of tax revenue.
The People themselves were making big things happen which were supposed to be "impossible."
My friend broke into tears as he told me that all these things developed because of one guy who took the time to talk with him in California.
I was completely stunned, floored and speechless. I didn't think I had made any kind of a difference a few years back. In fact, it seemed like it was a waste of time.
This Chinese man, previously a hardened government official, was now the head of a spiritual, cultural, social and political renaissance in the world's most notorious Communist nation.
As we parted, my friend looked me straight in the eye, with tears in his own, and said: "Never forget, my friend, that one man can change the world."
It was one of the most humbling yet encouraging moments of my life. I'm not alone, though. Others are changing the world and you can do it too. Seriously. You really can.
Watch the following music video. If you relate to it, just know that a simple chat with a stranger can cause more powerful changes than all the international government diplomacy in the world can.
If the world sucks, change it. You can do it... and you will.
You Will Change The World.