All the Difference in The World


Every Sunday morning I take a light jog
around a park near my home. There’s a
lake located in one corner of the park.
Each time I jog by this lake, I see the
same elderly woman sitting at the water’s
edge with a small metal cage sitting
beside her.
This past Sunday my curiosity got the
best of me, so I stopped jogging and
walked over to her. As I got closer, I
realized that the metal cage was in fact a
small trap. There were three turtles,
unharmed, slowly walking around the
base of the trap. She had a fourth turtle
in her lap that she was carefully
scrubbing with a spongy brush.
“Hello,” I said. “I see you here every
Sunday morning. If you don’t mind my
nosiness, I’d love to know what you’re
doing with these turtles.”
She smiled. “I’m cleaning off their
shells,” she replied. “Anything on a
turtle’s shell, like algae or scum, reduces
the turtle’s ability to absorb heat and
impedes its ability to swim. It can also
corrode and weaken the shell over time.”
“Wow! That’s really nice of you!” I
She went on: “I spend a couple of hours
each Sunday morning, relaxing by this
lake and helping these little guys out.
It’s my own strange way of making a
“But don’t most freshwater turtles live
their whole lives with algae and scum
hanging from their shells?” I asked.
“Yep, sadly, they do,” she replied.
I scratched my head. “Well then, don’t
you think your time could be better
spent? I mean, I think your efforts are
kind and all, but there are fresh water
turtles living in lakes all around the
world. And 99% of these turtles don’t
have kind people like you to help them
clean off their shells. So, no offense… but
how exactly are your localized efforts here
truly making a difference?”
The woman giggled aloud. She then
looked down at the turtle in her lap,
scrubbed off the last piece of algae from
its shell, and said, “Sweetie, if this little
guy could talk, he’d tell you I just made
all the difference in the world.”
The moral: You can change the world –
maybe not all at once, but one person,
one animal, and one good deed at a
time. Wake up every morning and pretend
like what you do makes a difference. It

Miss Anyetta. Thank you.


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