“I’m going to use my experiences and skills to help bring positive changes to Ghana my motherland, Africa my home, and the world as a whole.
Dear friend, what do you think you can also do to promote change?”
Emmanuel Kwabena Tetteh, August 2015
Emmanuel’s comments made me think about the old proverb about the boy and the starfish:
A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked, he could see a boy in the distance. As he drew nearer, he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. Time and again, he kept hurling things into the ocean.
As the man approached, he could see that the boy was picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water.
The man asked the boy what he was doing. The boy replied, “I am throwing these starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen.” The man said, “You can’t possibly save them all. There are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can’t make a difference.”
The boy looked down, frowning for a moment. Then he bent down to pick up another starfish, smiling as he threw it back into the sea. He replied,
“I made a huge difference to that one.”
You can follow Emmanuel’s path — and be an element of change, one person at a time. Participate in cultural exchange. Study abroad yourself, to learn about others; in so doing, you will learn about yourself. Do some extensive traveling, which could include travel in your own country but in a different “cultural” setting from anything you’ve experienced before. Connect with people along the way. Host an exchange student — make a difference to that one person.
Emmanuel was born and raised in Ghana. He is currently studying medicine at the Volgograd State Medical University in Russia. Read Emmanuel’s blog post to hear his story: Beautiful Green and White Balloons.