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An Ending



He had expected barely a dozen. Instead, there were hundreds. So many people, too many to count.

A huddled mass of people moving in slow unison. Waiting to pay their last respects to the man he knew as his father.

He had expected so few.


The sky was the color of tar. Rain came down in sheets. A few people were hunched under umbrellas. The rest struggled forward, heads bent against the relentless rain, mud riding on their shoes.

He had never seen so many crowding this town.

He had never seen so many out-of-state license plates.

Why had they braved this weather? he wondered. Why had they travelled from so far?

Squeezing his eyes shut as if to keep out the pain, he asked himself the most important question, How had Father touched so many?

As he looked through the rain hammering on the windshield, memories of the last time he had been with his father came rushing back.

Had it been a year ago?

He had become so consumed by ambition, his visits had become less and less frequent.

Now, he remembered standing at his father's doorstep, exchanging goodbyes, just before heading back to the big city where his practice devoured his time.

He could still feel his father's embrace.

And just as he had countless times before, his father had leaned over and whispered into his ear, "Make a difference in the world!"


The young man scanned the crowd before him. What exactly did Father do to make a difference? How did he make a difference for so many?

Wiping his tears on his sleeve, he thought, If I died tomorrow, would anyone notice? How many would come to my funeral?


Again, his father's image flickered before him. He recalled a conversation they'd had just a couple of years before. He could still see his father's face, his eyes radiating kindness and patience.

"To make a difference in the world, you must go beyond merely doing things," his father had said.

"Whenever you do things for others, you make a difference but only for a short time. You feed them, and soon they are hungry again. You clothe them, and soon they are cold and bare again. And you can never give them enough money, no matter how much you give.

"But there is a way to change the world that is far easier, far more lasting, and far more powerful!"

He could still hear his father's hoarse whisper, "Most people focus on doing things as the way to make a difference. What they don't realize is that the most powerful way to make a difference doesn't require you to actually do anything at all!"


What exactly had Father been talking about? he now wondered.

The young man had been groomed in the world of business, where action and execution are everything. Nothing happens until you get off your seat and actually do something.

His father's claim that you can make a difference without doing anything was so alien to his nature, he had completely dismissed it.

Now he wished he had paid closer attention.


He dropped his head in resignation. So this is the way it is. This is how it all finally ends.

He had never imagined things would end this way — incomplete, unresolved, with so much left unspoken and unshared.

How could you leave me like this?

He pushed his arm against his mouth in a futile attempt to muffle his sobs.

Now how will I ever learn your secrets?


In that moment, he remembered something his father used to say. "Some things end so that other things can begin."

The sky crackled with lightning. The roar of thunder overwhelmed his senses. He turned on his windshield wipers and, as they pushed the rain aside, he saw again the long line of people snaking their way through the wet grass.

He realized his father's secret wasn't lost at all. It was right here in front of him!

Surely one of these people knows the secret. Maybe they all know!

Maybe this ending leads to a new beginning!

A chill ran up his spine. He resolved to learn the secret before the day was over.

Resolutely, he got out off his car, hunched against the rain and ran to join the line of people inching forward.



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Front Cover
The First Page
An Ending
A New Perspective
The First Simple Shift
The Second Simple Shift
The Third Simple Shift
A Challenge


Yes, You Can Change the World - Order the Book
 

Yes, You Can Change the World by Aman Motwane
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