Have you ever felt useless? Wondered what your purpose for living was? Last year I was “laid low,” with some kind of respiratory bug which left me miserably tired for a week or more.
While I was recovering I heard about terrible things going on in the world:the bombings and resultant death and horrors in Brussels and other such attacks.
What can I do to help the loss, pain, fear, tragedy of the world? Nothing it seemed!
I started thinking about how my sons are both adults, with their own lives, married.
All of my friends are busy working or carrying on with some other meaningful activity (I am retired.) I sat there being miserable and feeling sorry for myself. I started thinking what little affect I have on the lives of my friends, family, or the world for that matter.
The very next morning my best friend called with the uplifting, much needed words, ‘I need some “best friend” time.’ I then realized how silly I had been.
I have several friends like that with whom I share and am shared with. Since a truly good friend counts a lot in any life my feelings improved to their previous positive levels.
It makes me feel like I am brightening someone’s day when I share something uplifting or funny on Facebook and someone comments, “Boy, that really made my day!” or “Thank you, I needed that!”
I have a good number of friends or acquaintances through social media with whom I try to stay connected; many of them I have never met. But we share a common friend, interest, sense of humor, or tastes in posts on Facebook, such as cute or funny videos or pictures with funny or inspiring quotes.
Through my blog I hope to make an impact, regardless of how small, on those who read my words and thoughts. I love to share good feelings, ideas, inspirations, pictures, anything of beauty and goodness.
I am one of many who are trying to provide a balancing force against the evil in the world. I truly love and have compassion for those who are suffering and try to demonstrate that love. I have to admit that sometimes the pain and sadness in the world weighs heavily on my mind and heart.
There is a Bible verse that says “Grow where you are planted.” I Corinthians 7:17. It doesn’t say that you have to save the world, even your country, or your city. If you are called to those goals, that is great.
But most of us make a difference serving “where we are planted.” We serve by making the world better by helping others, being kind, thoughtful, compassionate, polite, donating our time, money (when we can); even donating unwanted items to thrift stores that help those who need a helping hand.
We all can make a difference in the lives of others everyday whether we are at home most of the day, on the computer, working, or eating out.
I have many times asked a receptionist or customer service employee how their day has been. They often look shocked that someone acknowledged that they had feelings or were even human.
Those who run the cash registers at large stores are especially surprised when a little concern for them as a human is shown, by a comment or question, “Are you doing okay?” in response to a sad expression.
Part of my quest to brighten other people’s day includes hugs, smiles, or some kind of acknowledgement that they exist. I have many times seen a big smile when a person is given a genuine smile with eye contact.
Whether they are feeling gloomy or just tired, sometimes a warm smile can light a little candle of hope for the rest of the day.
How many times have you helped someone who dropped something or had their hands full and couldn’t open their door? These are all perhaps minor activities of connecting with others but they may make a big difference in someone’s life. We are all part of the human family, regardless of our beliefs, culture, sex, religion or nationality.
Another question you might ask yourself is, “So, who needs you?” A very good answer to that question is, “You do!”
When you are single, live alone, or feel isolated in a relationship, have you thought about yourself as your best friend? Have you carried on a conversation in your head? (Don’t worry, that is not a sign of insanity.)
You understand yourself better than anyone else. Have you ever thought about writing out a conversation with yourself about something bothering you? You can even record a conversation with yourself to help talk out the confusion or concerns. Who else has been through your life besides you?
You can remember more than anyone else about your life. So doesn’t it make sense that you might be able to figure something out from your past better than anyone else? We are important to ourselves! Besides if you don’t know how to love yourself, it would be hard for you to believe that someone would love you or that you can love someone else.
We all have someone who loves us, cares for us, or just prays for us. (Whether you know it or not, someone may be praying for people who are sad or hurting, confused, stressed out, afraid….).
Benjamin Franklin once penned:
“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
A small thing like a smile or a brief contact between two people can make a difference. Maybe all someone needs is for one moment to be recognized as a being worthy of a smile, a nod, a hug, a comment, a compliment, or a kindness.
Be the nail that saved the shoe, that saved the horse, that saved the rider, that saved the battle, that won the kingdom. You matter!!