It was a conversation with a friend that brought this little poem to my attention yesterday. It made me aware of how helpless we sometimes feel when things happen beyond our control; things like suffering, wars, crimes, accidents, lying, cheating, stealing, needless hurting, senseless behavior; you get the picture. And we think, that’s terrible but what can I do about it? Examining the words of this little poem, provides food for thought, and poses the question, “What is the something I can do?” And then we realize that not all things are beyond our control, and indeed we should not refuse to do the one something we can, however humble it may be.
I am only one
by Edward Everett Hale
I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.
Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909) was an American author, historian, and Unitarian minister.