“One makes the difference.” – Julia Butterfly Hill (born February 18, 1974)
This quotation is from One Makes the Difference: Inspiring Actions That Change Our World (2002) , a lovely and optimistic – and necessary – book Julia Butterfly Hill and Jessica Hurley wrote during a very dark time in our (American) history.
Transformation begins with one person: one person taking a step; one person lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness; one person making a stand.
Transformation begins with one person conducting a “tree sit” in a circa 1000-year-old redwood for one day and then for 737 more days to prevent it from being cut down. Julia Butterfly Hill conducted her tree sit in the redwood Luna from late December 1997 to late December 1999.
I am in awe of Julia Butterfly Hill. I met her at her reading for One Makes a Difference in Bellingham, Washington back in 2003. She opened with a comment about the clearcuts she had seen upslope from Lake Samish and further north on her way up I-5 to Bellingham.
She was radiant and smiling, and I recall a lovely reading. I remember standing in line to talk with her, watching her give a succession of women hugs and feeling so envious of those women! I was suddenly conscious of being a man and some 14 years older than her; all I wanted was to give her a great big hug and thank her for her work. I became shy, and stopped at “Thank you so much for your work.” She is a genuine, gracious person.
In One Makes a Difference, Hill and Hurley use a famous quote of Gandhi’s:
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948). Gandhi was also known as the Mahatma (“Great Soul”). Assassinated.
We begin the process of transformation when we commit ourselves to transformation and being that transformation.