Making A Difference

This page is intended as my collection of stories of people who made a difference to their world – with or without knowing that they did so. I also welcome readers to share any stories they have as a comment to this page.

The Orange County Register had a couple such stories on 4/23/09.

“From Grief, A Garden Path” by Lori Basheda put tears in my eyes. OK, so I downright cried, ol’ softy that I am! Several people in the story made this world a better place. The woman the article is about, Miriam Johnson, is now passing on the gift of solace she has found in her garden. Her garden is constructed of love and memories of her husband Steve and of Mary Lou and Heard’s Country Gardens. Both Steve and Mary Lou made their own differences in the world. If I get any more specific, I’ll start crying again. My best wishes go out to Miriam and her fiance Bob! Enjoy the read!

Following up on my interest in her article on Miriam Johnson’s garden, Lori Basheda sent me another story about a special person, Hortense Miller, in Laguna Beach, CA. She started her garden in 1959 and you can take two hour guided tours by reservation for free. Hortense, who passed away at the age of 99, gave the land to the city in 1976. Follow these links to find out what a special person Hortense was!

Lori also passed on to me another special gardener’s story of Dr. Joel Pasco who has over 3,000 bonsai trees in Costa Mesa, CA. Sadly, Joel also has inoperable cancer so he is looking for new homes for his trees. He has left his mark on this earth through teaching bonsai techniques to others. Check out the Shari Bonsai website.

“New Home for Octo-ducklings” Animal Control Officer Denise Wilson and her SPCA passenger Shaina Byrnes and firefighters saved 8 baby ducklings from a storm drain while mama duck fretted audibly about the situation. There is a slide show on-line if you click the link for the article title or this one here.

The 4/23/09 Long Beach Press Telegram had an AP story on Bea Charles passing away. I am sure you ask, “Who is that?” She is on this page because of her involvement with saving the Klallam language and culture of the Lower Elwha tribe. My studies in linguistics have made me acutely aware of cultural and generational wisdom being left behind in today’s modern, fast-paced society. Bea Charles sounds like a woman who tried to make a difference in her world, not only for her tribe, but also as an activist for promoting domestic violence awareness.

Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture – Randy Pausch never imagined to make the impact on the world that he did when he gave his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon. The response has been tremendous. What an awesome teacher! Here is his Last Lecture website. Here is his regular webpage.

Every morning while I make up our lunches I hear Michael Josephson‘s daily commentary on ethics on the radio. He makes excellent points and has poignant examples of why we should live ethical lives. He has been a positive influence on the world I live in.

The Saturday, May 2, 2009, edition of the Orange County Register had another great story as The Morning Read about John Mora making a difference. It is called Bullets Miss Mark by Erika Ritchie. It describes how a neighborhood shooting changed his life forever and how he uses his experience to reach out to a young boy to hopefully make a difference. It looks like it will. I wish him well. I hope John steers clear of bullets to continue his positive influence on other young people.

I have an old magazine article about random acts of heroism on my cube wall at work. I couldn’t find it on-line to attach here. It is from the June 2007 Glamour magazine. It was called “Do something heroic (it’s actually easy)” – Maybe an auto-link will find me. I’ll have to explore getting it reprinted.

The Power of Prayer – Miracles Do Happen – This is proven in this A miracle in our midst; an answer to a grandpa’s prayer, an article by Barbara France, a Staff Writer for the Plumas County News from 3/4/09.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters organization has a whole page of ‘making a difference’ stories of volunteers mentoring and changing lives.

Tony Curtis and his wife Jill are making a difference with their Horse Rescue Ranch called Shilo.

Walter Cronkite was the top-rated news anchor for CBS and was always the newscaster to watch as far as my family was concerned. He was indeed the “Most Trusted Man in America.”

Dr. Maxine Huffman was a very special person and a mentor in my life. She was my English advisor at Central College back in the seventies, but she and her husband Don were special people that we visited any time we were back in Pella, Iowa, for Central College activities. Her love, caring and welcoming nature will be missed but her memory will live on forever.

As Dr. David Roe finishes up his last few months as President of Central College in Pella, Iowa, before he retires to Texas, the school prepares for his departure. A quick perusal through past Central Bulletins provides an insight to Dr. Roe’s remarkable and inspirational leadership. Dr. Roe and his wife Betsy have made such a great impact on Central College, and Pella, Iowa. Both of them are very special and have made a difference in our world. I am sure they will both find unique opportunities to continue to do so in Texas as well. Here he is giving the introductory remarks at the national launch of the Initiative for Global Citizen Diplomacy (Feb. 2009, National Press Club, Washington, DC) from youtube:

3 Responses to Making A Difference

  1. […] Making A Difference […]

  2. You must be fantastic grandparents. I love the idea of your “making a difference” category. I think I will do something similar on my blog…it’s so important to get positive messages out there and also let people know they’re doing a good job. Well done all round.

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