Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Who Can Measure the Impact - by Curtis Bennett

I think it's impossible to calculate the impact a single, simple act of service will ultimately have.  We hear about the ripple effect when a stone is thrown into the water.  But if one is patient enough, it doesn't take too long for those ripples to softly dissipate and fade away. Somehow I don't think that's quite the case when people, motivated by higher purposes, like faith and love, perform spontaneous or even planned acts of service.  I believe it's quite possible, if not likely, the ripple effect will be seen and felt for generations to come if not forever.

I've had the privilege of spending the last three days with Mason Bennett (my son) and Kenton Durfee (my favorite nephew).  Two great young men, on a planned excursion, serving people on the other side of the globe. I have been impressed with their effort and sacrifice and I've been able to see (to some degree) the toll a 600+ mile trip on a skateboard, ladened with 50 pound backpacks plays on the body and the mind.  This is not an easy task, and they have chosen a difficult way to create awareness.  Yet they have raised their first $6000, enough to hire a teacher for a year in Romania.

Consider these two quotes;

 "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."
Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918)
"Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation."
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Thirty-fifth President of the USA

Kenton, the Honorable General Consul Eugen Chivu, Mason
Today together with Mason and Kenton we visited the Honorable Eugen Chivu, Consulate General of Romania to the United States.  We had the opportunity to share with this high ranking State Official the purpose, motivation, idea and impact of two American returned missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the orphan children of his beautiful country. It was clear, wholly evident, that he was impressed and grateful.  He expressed time and again his appreciation and shared his perspective of a growing and strengthening relationship between the United Staes and Romania.  Though from his perspective, it typically has to do with economies, armed forces, official state agreements.  He stated that often we don't know how much is being done in areas he is completely unfamiliar with that perpetuate the objectives both countries have in developing lasting relationships.  I suggest, and I think some if not most would agree, these type of quiet, unknown and seemingly obscure efforts are doing more than any corp of diplomats could accomplish.  Again, because it is motivated by the higher purposes of love and faith.

I think sometime, somewhere, we will have the opportunity of seeing in a more perfect way, the "true" impact our simple, insignificant, love filled and faith driven acts of service will have on a person, on a community, on the world and into the eternities.  That should be fun!


Marie said...

Oh, very well said. This is the pure love we are taught. Thanks for your examples.

brad said...

Their story is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing! Thank you young men for inspiring me and making a difference in the world!

Sora Lundberg said...

This post was very touching and inspiring! On behalf of the Romanian children, "Thank you!"