Several weeks ago, my mom recommended I watch a new dvd that had just come out, The Blind Side. All she said was that I would enjoy it, that it had an uplifting plot, and it was about football. It sounded good, so I put it in my Netflix queue, and it arrived yesterday.
As it happened, the day before I had purchased a clearance book entitled Discover the Power of One. The premise of the book is that, despite what seems like impossible odds, one person really can make a difference in the lives of others, not just those in their immediate circle, but way beyond, even people they will never meet.
As I watched the movie, I was drawn in right away. The story is based upon the life of Michael Oher, an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. It is an amazing story, one that I had never heard before, and I live in Maryland. A sad commentary on my pro football knowledge 🙂
Michael was born into poverty in Tennessee. His mother was addicted to crack cocaine, and his father was long out of the picture. His dad was ultimately murdered when Michael was still in high school. Through a friend, Michael began attended an exclusive private school, and he stood out like a fish out of water. Like something out of a feel-good movie (which Blind Side is), Michael was befriended by a wealthy white family, who cared and nurtured him. Eventually they adopted him, much to the chagrin of their socialite friends. One thing that Michael excelled at was football, and he eventually won a scholarship to University of Mississippi.
In July of 2009, he signed a five-year, $13.8 million contract with the Ravens. What a remarkable story. Had it not been for a chance encounter with the Tuohy family, it’s safe to say the chances were great that Michael’s life would not have turned out well. One family made a difference.
In the book I also began reading yesterday, the author writes that so many people today feel overwhelmed and helpless. They don’t believe that they can make a difference. Although I’m not too far into the book, this theme fits so well with the movie that it was easy to connect them together. They say there are no coincidences, to I think it’s safe to say that God is trying to remind me of something here.
How can we as individuals make a difference in the lives of others? Not just within our circle of friends and family, but in a bigger, broader way? I don’t think its easy, but I believe that with God helping us, it’s possible.
Awhile back, I wrote about something called The Butterfly Effect. The premise of the book is the same as this movie, and it also matches this book perfectly. One Person Can Make A Difference. What can you do?
Tomorrow, I’m going to write about a man named Chamberlain who fought at Gettysburg, not too far from where I live. That epic battle of the Civil War took place exactly 147 years ago this weekend, and the decisions this Colonel in the Union Army made that weekend still affect us today.
I hope you are enjoying this long weekend. Have you brushed up on your American History yet???