The Little Things that Make the Biggest Difference.

Photo by GreenForce Staffing on Unsplash

To download these free stories, please enter the newspaper publication you represent with your email address. We will email you when we add new stories each month. Thanks!

Note: We are committed to keeping your e-mail address confidential. We do not sell, rent, or lease our contact data or lists to third parties. Please see our privacy policy for details.

Please enter your organization and email above before downloading these articles.

Download PDF Word .doc Download Photo .jpg

Pass It On®

The Little Things that Make the Biggest Difference.
How one man created a forest the size of Central Park by planting one tree a day.

By The Foundation for a Better Life

Jadav Payeng lives in a remote part of India, in a place mostly unknown to the rest of the world. The Brahmaputra River is one of the largest rivers in the world. It begins at the base of the Himalayas, at the confluence of a fan of rivers that drain snowmelt. In the midst of this miles-wide river, there is an island, Majuli. And on that island is a community of fishermen. This is where Jadav was born.

At 16 years old, Jadav noticed a number of snakes washed up on the dry sandbar after a flood. Villages redirecting the river upstream had created more forceful currents around the island, and erosion was quickly taking its toll on the land and the natural habitats of its fauna. In fact, much of the island had become barren sand, and an entire community was at risk of being displaced.

Jadav also noticed that nobody was doing anything about it besides watching their part of the world disappear. So, he started planting trees — every day, one or two or three at a time on the barren sandbars. He took note of how they grew, harvested their seeds, grew saplings in his hut and planted before going off to work.

Standing beside one of the first trees he planted 40 years ago, Jadav will tell you that it is a little thing, something anyone can do. The tree is easily five times Jadav’s girth. It stands in the middle of a forest the size of Central Park: 550 hectares. There are now native grasses that have taken root in the shade and varieties of native trees grown from seeds that have washed ashore. The forest has become home to myriad animals: deer, Bengal tigers, Indian rhinoceros and even a herd of 100 elephants that visit every year. But most importantly, the island that is also home to a few hundred people is holding its own against the elements.

Each of us has our row to hoe in this life, a small piece of the world to cultivate. By doing the little things right, we take care of those around us and those who will come after us.

Caring... PassItOn.com®

Copyright ©2022 The Foundation for a Better Life. All rights reserved.

Pass It On®

The Foundation for a Better Life, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, gives your newspaper permission to publish these stories in print and electronic media (excluding audio and video), provided the stories are published in their entirety, without modification and including the copyright notice. For any modification, permission must first be obtained from the Foundation by emailing media-relations@passiton.com. Thank you.

  email

Your Comments
Here are some other inspiring newspaper articles you might like.
The Least Likely to Help.

The Least Likely to Help.
How a bedridden attorney still fights for the rights of others.

Our Local Heroes in Scrubs.

Our Local Heroes in Scrubs.
How health care workers saved the day.

A Lesson We Should Never Forget.

A Lesson We Should Never Forget.
The incredible story of American POWs smuggling rations to Russian prisoners at Stalag-B.

Born to Make a Difference.

Born to Make a Difference.
Kids who are changing their world.

Billy Mills

Billy Mills
The story behind America’s first and only 10,000-meter Olympic champion.

Bigger than Life.

Bigger than Life.
How Premier League superstar Sadio Mané is changing the world beyond soccer.

Fix it Yourself.

Fix it Yourself.
How one couple moved hundreds of miles from home to run a center for pregnant teenage girls.

The Legacy of Dorothy Vaughan.

The Legacy of Dorothy Vaughan.
The Hidden Figure who Helped Put a man on the Moon.

Education is for Everyone.

Education is for Everyone.
Reading and writing are the basics of an education. See why a 90-year-old Kenyan great-grandmother went back to primary school.

Using the Write Words

Using the Write Words
How an African American Woman Wrote her Way to Freedom.

Road Trip Across America.

Road Trip Across America.
A discovery of what unites us.

For the Cost of a Box of Cereal.

For the Cost of a Box of Cereal.
How just noticing makes all the difference in the world.

Taking Responsibility.

Taking Responsibility.
How one high school student supported her family during the pandemic.

Cross Safely.

Cross Safely.
How one man made sure his retirement years were spent helping kids move safely through life.

Beatrice Shilling

Beatrice Shilling
The motorcycle daredevil who became a mechanical engineer and saved the lives of countless pilots in WWll.

Playtime is for Everybody.

Playtime is for Everybody.
A dad sells off his business and builds a theme park for disabled kids.

Reach for the Stars…

Reach for the Stars…
No Matter How Long it Takes.

Going Deep to Deliver Kindness.

Going Deep to Deliver Kindness.
Free-dive record holder Enzo Maiorca rescues a trapped dolphin, then watches as it gives birth.

Taking Care of the Most Vulnerable.

Taking Care of the Most Vulnerable.
Pam Tully dedicates 6 months a year to rescuing baby flying foxes alongside the volunteers who help her.

Are You Smarter Than a Seventh-Grade Business Owner?

Are You Smarter Than a Seventh-Grade Business Owner?
How Kidpreneur Alejandro Buxton is making money for college and helping others.

A Diamond in the Making.

A Diamond in the Making.
How an everyday superhero saved the day by taking time to go through the garbage to find a stranger’s wedding ring.

Everybody Can Be a Hero.

Everybody Can Be a Hero.
How window cleaners brightened the day at a children’s hospital.

The Art of Pitching.

The Art of Pitching.
A little confidence at the right time goes a long way.

Bringing the Moon to your Living Room.

Bringing the Moon to your Living Room.
How 14-year-old Philo Farnsworth tinkered his way to the technology that broadcast the moon landing.

You’re Never Too Old to Make a Difference.

You’re Never Too Old to Make a Difference.
British WWll veteran Captain Tom Moore raised over $45 million for charity at age 100.

How to Honor Your Mother.

How to Honor Your Mother.
Warrick Dunn played in the NFL for 12 seasons. His most impressive stat: He’s built 200 homes for single mothers. And he’s not done.

Listening to the Music Inside.

Listening to the Music Inside.
The long journey of Maria Tallchief from the Osage Nation in Oklahoma to prima ballerina in New York City.

Finding a New Family at the Mountain Man Rendezvous.

Finding a New Family at the Mountain Man Rendezvous.
How a Vietnam vet pulled himself out of drug addiction by going back in the past.

Give Peace a Chance.

Give Peace a Chance.
How a Mexican-American Marine negotiated peace speaking Japanese during WWll.

Never, Ever Give Up.

Never, Ever Give Up.
The incredible story of the 12-year-old cancer patient who brings joy to half a million children fighting cancer.

An Impossible Journey.

An Impossible Journey.
How John Wesley Powell navigated the Colorado River and Grand Canyon in wooden boats.

The History of Us.

The History of Us.
How a football coach develops young men by teaching them their own history.

Being a Mother…

Being a Mother…
The roundabout journey to a dream fulfilled.

Everybody Gets on Base.

Everybody Gets on Base.
Measuring the victories of life, one single at a time.

Laughter is the Best Teacher.

Laughter is the Best Teacher.
How humor and history go together in this classroom.

No Matter Who You Are, You Can Always Help.

No Matter Who You Are, You Can Always Help.
The day Muhammad Ali rushed to save a stranger who was about to take his own life.

The Brotherhood in Sports Goes Beyond the Field.

The Brotherhood in Sports Goes Beyond the Field.
How a men’s rugby team supported one of their own.

Turning Tough News Into Hope.

Turning Tough News Into Hope.
How 11-year-old Jordan Phillips raised $120,000 to help fund cancer treatment.

The World Awaits You.

The World Awaits You.
The story of the first woman to circumnavigate the world.

Taking Care.

Taking Care.
How one woman turned a life of neglect into a lifetime of taking care of people.

The Curse of Texting and Driving.

The Curse of Texting and Driving.
How one father turned personal tragedy into triumph for thousands of teenagers by creating the Honor Connor Scholarship Fund.

Recognizing the Need.

Recognizing the Need.
How a neighbor took a disaffected young man under his wing and taught him how to be a man

More Than Just Dancing

More Than Just Dancing
How inclusion helps overcome mental illness.

Let the Kids Give it a Try

Let the Kids Give it a Try
How 17-year-old Dasia Taylor developed sutures that detect infection.

The Last Person you Think of Should Probably be the First.

The Last Person you Think of Should Probably be the First.
How a group of high school boys practiced the art of inclusion.

If You Love Dogs, You’ll Love this Story.

If You Love Dogs, You’ll Love this Story.
A German shepherd slept at his owner’s gravesite.

Including Everybody Means Everybody.

Including Everybody Means Everybody.
How Inclusion Films is making movies using crew with developmental disabilities.

A Hero for Accessibility.

A Hero for Accessibility.
How an 8-year-old girl captured the attention of the nation and motivated Congress.

Sometimes the Wrong Direction is the Right Way.

Sometimes the Wrong Direction is the Right Way.
How a wrong number, a wrong text and a mix-up led to long-lasting friendships.

For Soccer Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Every Day is Mother’s Day.

For Soccer Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Every Day is Mother’s Day.
Fortune and fame have allowed the soccer great to take care of his mother after all she has done for him.

Something Healthy for All of Us

Something Healthy for All of Us
How 17-year-old Barron Prize Winners Annie and Shirley Zhu provide fresh food for 1,400 people a year.

No Strings Attached.

No Strings Attached.
How a 7-year-old girl brings joy to neighbors with her violin.

The Future Belongs to Kids.

The Future Belongs to Kids.
So far, things look pretty bright.

Courage in a New World.

Courage in a New World.
The story of Stagecoach Mary, the first Black woman to deliver mail in the Wild West.

Stay Curious.

Stay Curious.
The remarkable underwater life of Jacques Cousteau.

Overcoming Our Own Worst Mistakes.

Overcoming Our Own Worst Mistakes.
Kaelin Clay made an unpardonable error in football. And he owned it.

Beyond the Moon with an Eye on Mars.

Beyond the Moon with an Eye on Mars.
The story of a young woman who dreamed of pushing the boundaries and now designs launch systems for NASA.