"If you think you're too small to make a difference, you've obviously never been in bed with a mosquito."
I stumbled on this quotation attributed to Michelle Walker the other day while looking for other things and it just caught my attention. Straightaway, I can relate to this quote because not only am I an African man, I’ve also had the privilege of growing up in a typical rain forest West Africa village.
We had visitors from the city every now and then especially during the school holidays, they looked different smelled different and even talked differently, everyone will like to volunteer to show them round the village or perhaps better to say show them off....
My village happens to be in an area endemic to malaria which is carried by the female anopheles mosquito as i later understood through elementary science. We always go through so much trying to prevent this uninvited guests into the tiny mud huts, of course this was hard work but it's no surprise now looking back, there's no ceiling like we have today, the gap between the frames and the timber doors and windows are massive. Among other things we had to burn some local herbs as insecticides to prevent mosquitoes from coming in, usually after doing this, the hut is clear of not only mosquitoes but other insects too. However after all these you still find one or two mosquitoes buzzing around, this one or two usually keep our civilised visitors awake through the night.
I've seen this happen over and again, not posh people kept awake all night by tiny insects, but 'small' people making a great difference in big matters; scattered all over history are various stories and you read of men like Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Young David in the Bible, Rosa Parks and many other people like them all over the world.
People who just followed the power of their own convictions dared to confront the evils of the systems they lived in alone or along with a few friends at first and then gained recognition afterwards.
Now I’m not sure who's reading this or what your big idea or lofty dream is, your challenge may be an external one, perhaps you've got a great idea nobody seem to take seriously, history has a record of men like you and over the years the scoffer, which constituted the majority always had knack for being wrong. On the other hand your battle may be an internal one and you're aspiring to make a difference in yourself first by hoping to with the battle of your perceived right and wrong (sometimes I think this is even a stronger battle to win). For example breaking a habit, living a healthy lifestyle
Among other things, make sure your idea, conviction, philosophy or any other fanciful name you may want to call it is worth your while, is it worth dying for? if yes, then it's worth living for. In recent years the idea or understanding of a course worth dying for has been confused with other things hence it's important for me here to differentiate the subject of our discussion from the treat of faceless terrorist hiding behind the mask of anonymity and perpetrating great evils by isolating some vulnerable minds, brainwashing them and making them commit their atrocities while the evil masterminds are alive, if anything this is cowardice.
In conclusion, have you found a noble course, you're willing to pour your life into until you see result, like an eagle, hold on to this tenaciously, don't let go! If you ever feel discouraged or inadequate, do everything you must, synergise, study, make friends, pray to God but before you give up, please remember Michelle Walker's quote; "If you think you're too small to make a difference, you've obviously never been in bed with a mosquito." You can make a difference, just be the difference you anticipate.