Thursday, April 03, 2008


Making a Difference.

We hear it all the time. But what does it mean?

It's the common tagline for campaigns and causes - those that aim to uplift or help a social ill or people in need.

The word "Difference" can be defined in three ways.

Difference as DISPARITY: To make a difference means to be in contrast, to be diverse and divergent. When a retail company chooses to engage in fair trade with poor communities instead of doing business the easier way - that's being contradictory, that's making a difference.

Difference as DISPUTE: When you go against the flow, you're likely to have an unpleasant encounter along the way. It's inevitable. Not everyone is comfortable with change and they will fight it as much as they can. It is but human nature.

So why create dispute and disparity when it brings discomfort and disagreement?

Because making a Difference means CHANGE. To make a difference means to transform and modify, to take one thing and mold it into something else. When an organization takes in a battered wife whose emotional wounds can cripple more than the physical beatings and helps her find her self-respect and worth again - that's making a change, that's making a difference.

When a store attendant shifts from sales talk to actually listening to the customer's needs, that's a paradigm shift, that's making a difference.

When an officer takes the initiative and offers suggestions to her manager instead of waiting for delegation, that's going against the flow. That's making a difference.

Still.Why do it?

For some people, it's the ony way to live.

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