Making a difference through personal contributions

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The personal contribution of individuals varies greatly. If you have ever thought about the difference you make, this article by Derek Stockley may provide some form of measurement.

Making a difference through personal effort - measuring your contribution to society

I attended a funeral.

Kay was a school teacher known to me through her work with my youngest son. I met her at various school meetings to discuss his educational program and progress.

Kay had suffered ill health in recent years and died after a long stay in hospital.

During the funeral service, I discovered that Kay had not only helped my son, but literally hundreds of students and teachers over the years in different ways. For my son, she had been an advocate for him.

Teaching is a profession that has a profound effect on many lives. Like most people, I can still remember the names of the teachers that had an effect on me. You probably can as well.

I estimate over 300 people attended Kay’s funeral. She was well loved and will be greatly missed.

Although the funeral was a sad occasion, it was truly (as it was titled) a celebration of Kay’s life.

The pastor had preselected the speakers that would speak in memory of Kay, for so many would have liked to have shared their memories and speak of her impact on themselves or others.

Each speaker spoke of Kay’s contribution, her love of children and her impact on so many lives.

Kay had provided counselling, in both informal and formal settings, to many people. She had provided support and guidance.

She was an 'encourager', a person who could see the positive rather than the negative. She could always put a positive point.

Towards the end of the service, the pastor for his eulogy chose to highlight Kay’s approach as an example for others.

It confirmed my own feelings at that point - she had truly provided an outstanding example for others to follow. I had already decided to renew my commitment to help others.


The topics chosen for the articles in this newsletter are often prompted by my own personal experiences. They are often timely - they reflect issues on my mind at the time they are written.

I know that I have a stronger determination to do better, to help others more and to make a bigger contribution.

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