My dear students,
You can make a difference...
What is ‘making a difference’? Can it be made? Do you set out on a pre-meditated journey to make a difference?.

Stories on persons “making a difference” come in many packages, shapes, and premises. Irrespective of how they are made, when you hear about them, probably something within you will say – “I wish I did that too”. You feel inspired by something that constitutes “making a difference”.

Most “making a difference” type of actions emerge from a passionate impulse – these are rarely pre-meditated. You can not predict who will make a difference, and how, or when. You do not know when you will feel within yourself the impulse that suddenly propels you to make a difference. Furthermore, most people making the difference probably do not ever sit back and ponder – “Wow, I made a difference, and it feels great now…!!”

“I am not a dreamer, and I am not saying that this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer. But I believe in miracles. I have to.” --- Terry Fox, October 1979.

Terry Fox developed osteosarcoma (bone cancer) during his teenage years, and had his right leg amputated at an age of 19 in 1977. He continued long distance running with a prosthetic limb after his amputation and played wheelchair basketball. In 1980, he ran the Marathon of Hope to raise money and awareness for cancer research. The above excerpt is from his letter requesting support for the marathon. The marathon started on April 12, 1980 at St. John’s, Newfoundland.He ran a full length marathon each day in his typical “limping” style. His desire was to run across the length of Canada, and raise 24 million dollars. Unfortunately, he was forced to end his run after 143 days and 5,373 kilometers near a town called Thunder Bay, Ontario, not even a full half-way across the country. He had to abandon his run as his cancer spread to his lungs, and he eventually succumbed to it in 1981.

Did Terry make a difference?

The rational mind may probably ask - what difference would daring to run with a prosthetic limb across a vast country make toward curing cancer? How could one imagine running thousands of kilometers under unpredictable weather and unforgiving terrain for days as something to do to raise awareness for Cancer? Wasn’t it a definite mistake for Terry to run with a prosthetic limb and a body afflicted with Cancer? And one cynic once stated “…poor boy did not even finish what he set out to do…”.

Today, the Terry Fox Run is an annual fundraising event held on 13 th September every year in over 60 countries. It is the World’s largest fundraiser for Cancer research, and has raised over 600 million dollars since its inception in 1981. The Terry Fox foundation has supported Cancer research all over the World. Terry is considered a prominent National hero in Canada.

You do not have to think rationally to make a difference, just think in your own way. Take a deep breath and feel something inexplicable from within yourself tell you that you can do it. You just have to be passionate about your pursuit.

You do not have to think or strategize about making a difference. You just need to find out what you want to change, and work in your own way with passion and determination to change it. Even covering less than half the distance that you initially planned to traverse will constitute making a big difference. Any change is acknowledged gratefully by the world, if meaningful, and that will be the difference that the World will owe you.

Have a meaningful future my dear students..

Mrs. Dipika Basu Das

God bless you....