One Person at a Time (A Poem)

by StevenHelmer

A poem about making a difference, no matter how small, one person at a time.

Last December, when I made my New Year's resolution, I decided I wasn't going to pick one that focused on bettering myself. Instead, I resolved to put my time and/or money toward one or two good causes. As I did this, I realized helping those causes made me feel better than expected and, as the year progressed, I found myself expanding on it. and trying to help whenever I was able to. This poem was inspired by that.

My Poem

As I walked through the grocery store

Putting food in my shopping cart.

I shopped off of my list

But, I also took a few moments to shop with my heart.

I threw in a few extra cans of food

Some peanut butter and a bag of pinto beans

And, after checking out

I put them in a collection barrel for people I didn't know and may or may not have seen.

I know what I bought

Wouldn't be able to help everybody.

But, I still chose to do it

Even though it meant spending the extra money.

Because, while I may never be able to bring an end

To the suffering of those who are hungry

I also couldn't help but wonder what one extra meal would mean

Had the hungry person been me.

My contribution may have only consisted

Of a few dollars and maybe a dime. 

But, I was making the world a better place

One person at a time.

Shopping Carts
Shopping Carts
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

I started using a compost pile this past spring.

My grass clippings and food waste

Are now being turned into dirt

Rather than being buried somewhere, filling up landfill space.

I've been donating to our local animal shelter

I'm holding doors open for my fellow man.

I make a conscious effort not to waste water or electricity

And I try to walk, instead of drive, whenever I can.

My contributions, admittedly, may not seem to be much.

If the world were a bucket filled with water, I would only be a drop.

But, just because my efforts seem small,

Doesn't make me a flop.

Because, my efforts may never be noticed

And may only make a very small dent, even if I put in overtime.

However, I'm still making the world a better place

One person at a time.


More By This Writer

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Internationally-selling poet and children's book author Steven Helmer presents his third book of spiritual poetry meant to inspire you to keep God's love in your heart.

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Updated: 11/26/2016, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 02/28/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
In particular, it impresses me about the effort you're making about buying for local food-pantry collection boxes, donating to local animal shelters and keeping down landfill waste. Also, I like the courtesy of holding doors for people, instead of letting them slam in their faces, and the environmentalism of monitoring electricity and water use and of walking instead of driving to walkable places.

But above all, I like your sharing this in a poem since I like your Apollo story and your other poems.

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