This may be listened to on iPlayer just before 25 minutes into the programme and again at one hour and 25 minutes
Today, leaders from around the world will announce how they intend to meet some extra-ordinary targets in the next 15 years.
They want to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and fix climate change.
They could fail in every target... but, even in trying, great things can be achieved.
When we look at the three areas targeted, these goals seem to be impossible. What difference can any one of us make?
The Dalai Lama XIV said, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito!” Everyone can play a part.
Some years ago when I was a school teacher my Year Group decided to collect pennies for charity. During the weeks leading up to Christmas we stuck them to the classroom wall … and each day some new coins were added as class by class they brought in a few pence. A penny on its own is of little value but by the end of the term we had a considerable sum collected, as together they made a difference.
It doesn’t take much from each person to make a difference.
That makes me think of yesterday’s porridge. For some reason I was interrupted during the cooking process – probably to let Dougal out into the garden. Anyhow, when it came to eating it there was clearly something wrong. I’d forgotten to add the salt! Just a tiny pinch of sodium chloride makes all the difference to the taste.
Jesus told his followers that they are to be like salt in the world … we are to make the world a better place. So, on a day when the world leaders are signing up to the United Nations targets maybe we need to set individual goals too.
What can I do to make a difference?
Even a small financial contribution will work towards ending extreme poverty and help those who have lost everything they owned.
I can speak out against inequality and injustice; and am able to challenge the government on policies that make life more difficult for the vulnerable.
My attitude to recycling, reducing waste, and to using renewable resources will work towards fixing climate change. I can protect the environment where I live.Desmond Tutu wrote, “Do a little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”