Change-Maker Stories

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My unexpected meeting with a Change-Maker – Maryann Miller

Lovely sitting area

You can meet a Change-Maker anywhere. Recently, I was away on business, staying in a nice hotel with a lovely outdoor sitting areas. The room was spacious and the bathroom was very modern with lots of glass, mirrors, and an ultra-modern sink only 3 inches deep. It looked fabulous, very 21st Century but when I turned on the water there was only a very small stream coming from the faucet. I figured the sink was so shallow with more pressure the water would splatter out and get all over everything.

I endured this very low water pressure the first day but the second day it was even weaker and I had difficulty washing my hands.  I called guest services and asked them to have someone come up and fix it. They replied that it would take some time to get a plumber but if I wanted someone in maintenance to come up and take a look at it, they would send someone.  I replied, “Yes, certainly.”

When I opened the door a woman from maintenance greeted me and said, “I’m not a plumber but I’m here to fix the problem. I’m a can-do person and I want to make our guests happy.”

As she worked on the plumbing issue we began talking to one another – a little more than usual for strangers. She obviously was a person who genuinely cared about people despite her very difficult childhood. I learned she had been in many foster homes from a young age. I also learned that we shared many things in common.

As she told me her story, she said, “Everyone has choices. I could choose to be afraid of life and not trust anyone but that wouldn’t make me happy, so I do what I can and I help people. I put myself through college and I try to help people who’ve been through what I’ve been through. And you know, I get more happiness out of that than anything else I do. It just makes me feel good to see people happy.” She also wanted me to know that she wasn’t a weird personeven though she didn’t seem to quite fit in with any of her friends.

As we continued to talk, tears began to well up in her eyes, and then in mine too. I felt a real connection with this lady and told her she wasn’t weird or alone. I told her there are millions like us; we just don’t know each other but that’s beginning to change. I told her about the IFGT and that we’re building a community of Change-Makers to connect with others who, like her, care about people, relationships, society as a whole, the environment, and the distribution of wealth throughout the world. We’re doing this because we care about humanity and our planet and we absolutely know that together we can make a real difference toward creating a better world. And although I may never see this Change-Maker again, I know I will never forget her.

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