All it takes is but one

I was recently asked to offer a reflection at a committee meeting, on the noble peace price winner Former President Martti Ahtisaari of Finland, who has served as a United Nations envoy to different parts of the world and has played a role in Namibia’s history as a Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Namibia. The New York Times wrote that “Mr. Ahtisaari has said that the highlight of his career may well be his work over 13 years in helping Namibia make the transition to independence after years of violent conflict with South Africa.”

The man first peeked my curiosity when I was much younger, as I witnessed the arrival of white 4x4s painted with the initials UN, flying the blue flag driving throughout Namibia as we prepared for “independence”. Rather than focus on the individual for my reflection I chose to focus on the fact that everyone who is considered great, everyone who has received recognition and accolades, everyone who has ever been awarded the Noble prize, even the man to who the award is named after; they all had a first step, a one action that they took that sets them on their way.

Below is my reflection


All it takes is but one

All it takes is but one
One word to be the foundation for a great book
One sentence to start an epic story
One step to win the marathon that seemed unwinnable
One voice to lead and at times to create a chorus
One action, though seemingly inconsequential to be the one that starts it all

It took but
one man to take that one small step while taking a giant step for humankind
one woman to refuse to give up her seat
one man to utter the words I have a dream
One man, one woman to create a movement that inspires the many
One action, to begin the formation of the next great one

The question is
am I willing to be the one
can I be the one who is yelling
while the rest of the world stand silent pretending not to see or hear
Can I be the one whose works go unnoticed
even as they form the base for the one movement that will inspire many
Are you willing to be the one fighting
even if it is for many who are not appreciative of your efforts
Are you willing to be the one who is imprisoned for 30 years
while serving as the hope for millions
Can you be the one Nobel laureate under house arrest for years
so long as you serve as the beacon of hope for the many
Are you willing to be the one who is held captive
simply because you said that one
that one word that gave others an idea, a belief

Will you be happy being the one stone
that causes ripples of change while disappearing unnoticingly in the depth of an ocean
will you be happy to be the one student that stands in front of tanks
with nothing but the clothes on your back, the idea, the belief, the determination and the hope in your heart
are you willing to be the one in the group of the many who never gets accolades
no matter how many good to great acts you perform
Will you be the one who seemingly stands alone
doing what is right even if no one seems to notice

All it takes is one
one person
one act
one belief
one dream
to be the hope for the many
to be the light in a seemingly dark world.
All it takes is but one