Yesterday, a very good man passed away. He was not on Facebook, or Twitter, and his communication skills were unpolished at best. His hair was a thermostat of his mood, and his sense of style left much to be desired. And yet….those who knew him shed more than a few quiet tears when they heard the news; not just out of sadness, but gratitude for having known him.
We tend to think that making a difference in someone’s life involves magnificent gestures, large amounts of money or time. We all hear the starfish story and nod gravely, thinking yes, that is so true- it did make a difference to that one. Then we scroll through our social media feeds, turn on the news or watch some inane TV, etc. and so on, and we only have enough energy left to survive our own day, let alone make a difference in someone else’s.
Think back to the people who have made a difference in your own life, though. It could be a teacher, a parent, a relative. There will be more commoners in your list than celebrities, I can guarantee that. What do you remember about them? They did something with passion. They reached out in ways which seemed small, but were magnified by their authenticity and intention. They connected people to each other without any expectations. They did what they did because they followed their hearts, without thinking of practicality or propriety. These are the people who change the courses of our lives, these are the big hearts which help us find our way.
Don’t set out to change lives- just find a way to express what you love through action.
Don’t compare your actions to what others have accomplished- just keep doing.
Don’t measure the size your impact through material rewards- just check to see if your heart feels full.