Making a Difference

This past week or so the news has been filled with the loss of both Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds who died one day apart.  That led to discussions of whether it is possible to die of a broken heart. People were interviewed who told how these two people had impacted their life even though they had never personally met as well as the memories of the films they were known for.

Personally, I am not as familiar with Carrie Fisher, but Debbie Reynolds starred in the first movie I ever saw at a movie theater.  She sang the song, “Tammy” and I still occasionally sing a wee bit of the song.  I was a young girl totally enthralled at seeing a movie with  my cousin.  (Before you start trying to figure how ancient I must be, let me assure you I had seen movies before with my family at the nearby drive-in.  But to be invited to accompany my aunt and uncle and cousin to a restaurant AND a theater was major!)

Having said all that, this piece really isn’t about two well-known celebrities.  It is about making a difference in someone’s life.  It’s about making an impact in the life of those around me.Sometimes I forget to think about how I might be affecting someone by  my words and deeds.  I mean seriously, I wasn’t put on this earth to say HERE I AM.  NOW EVERYONE MAKE AN IMPACT ON MY LIFE.  Certainly many people have made a difference in my life, one way or another.  But while all that has been going on I have the responsibility of being a good steward of the impact I make on others.

Think about this a minute.  If I am quick to offer complaints and criticisms, am I bringing down someone around me?  Do I offer a word of encouragement?  Is my need to be”right” important enough to hurt someone else?  What about my neighbors…are they seeing an example of right living, or do my actions encourage them avoid me at all cost.  Do I even know my neighbors?

In most circumstances I can choose the impact I have on others. Don’t get me wrong, there are times we are blindsided by events that drop us to our knees, and we may stay down for a bit.  But then its time to pray, and get back up.  I remember going through an extremely difficult time in my life, and I thought I hid it well.  Then one day a coworker came to ask if I was okay.  This was a person I would never expect to ask this question.  I didn’t think I had much of an impact on him.  But here he was, wondering if I was ok because he hadn’t seen me smile in a long time.  What a wake up call.  Instead of wallowing on my knees, I realized it was time to ask some warriors to pray that I would get back up, dust myself off, and do what had to be done.  A smile, or the lack thereof, can impact someone we don’t even think is watching.

All this in the news made me remember that I want any impact I make to be positive.  I don’t need anyone to remember my name. However, I do want them to remember that someone took the time to listen when they needed to talk or to be a friend when they needed a friend. I want to smile at someone and hope they will pass that smile on to someone else rather than be so self-absorbed in my own little world that I forget anyone else is even around.

I want to make a positive difference.

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