… the hundreds of lives you will one day touch by checking off the organ donor box when you applied for your very first driver’s license this morning. It could be a teenager, months away from high school graduation. Or a father of three fighting for his life after a near fatal car crash on his way home from work. Perhaps it will be a grandmother who will see her great-great grandson’s face for the very first time.
Save lives: donatelife.net/register-now/
… the child in your second grade class, the one you didn’t make fun of when he didn’t understand the instructions and painted his fish red instead of purple. You didn’t hold his art work up above your head for the class to see as an example of someone who doesn’t follow directions. When another boy pointed at the red fish and opened his mouth to laugh, you stepped up and said, “It’s not red, it’s dark red.” From the corner of your eye, you saw the other child breathe a sigh of relief at not being the center of his classmates’ ridicule. Maybe he couldn’t pay attention because he was up all night long, with terrible dreams of then night his father beat him with a shoe for spilling chocolate milk on his shirt. Or perhaps he had an ear ache and couldn’t hear you too well when you were explaining the project. No matter the reason – your words made all the difference.
Watch a 2 minute film of the power of words: www.flixxy.com/the-power-of-words-short-film.htm
… the lady on the side of the road selling flowers, the one who you stopped for, the one you bought a yellow rose from and returned it to her as a gift from you. All the other cars zoomed by not even noticing the expression on the woman’s face, how her eyes were heavy and dark. Perhaps it was because she discovered that her husband of over twenty years was secretly romancing another woman. Or maybe she was trying desperately not to feel the exhaustion creeping in her veins from working her night job as a cleaning woman in the casino nearby. It could also have been because she hadn’t heard from her son in over two weeks, just nineteen years old and stationed in Iraq in a military camp not far from the site of the latest explosions.
Stop and Smell the Roses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3a5vN4tUl4
… the new mother who waits patiently out in the waiting room of the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital, the one you smiled to. You didn’t say, “That’s all right, your baby was born premature, but will catch up and be like a normal baby soon.” And you certainly didn’t tell her, “There is a reason for everything.” Or, “Don’t worry about a thing, there are special needs schools for kids that were born early and are slow to grow and learn.” Just a simple smile. That is exactly what she needed.
Learn more: www.marchofdimes.com/mission/prematurity_emotionaltoll.html
… the family at the shelter where you volunteer, not only for the food you help to serve late into the evenings every Tuesday and Thursday, but also for the time you spend afterwards, reading Dr. Seuss to their two little boys. They’ve fallen into a streak of bad luck, lost their jobs and are trying desperately to move forward again. Or perhaps a fire ravaged their home, taking with it all their belongings and memories. It’s difficult to tell how they came to stand in the food line and why they are there week after week, but one thing is certain, your smile and the smiles of others behind the service area is the reason they continue to hope.
Want to volunteer? www.homelessshelterdirectory.org
… the woman who shares the room with your mother at the retirement home, when you also brought her a bouquet of flowers for Mother’s Day. Maybe her children live too far away and can’t visit, or they did send her a large package of her favorite things – the box was just lost in the mail, in a post office in a different city. And even sadder, maybe she didn’t have any children at all. However, the colorful petals that now reflect in the smile of her eyes means that for a moment, she knows that there is someone who cares and thinks of her.
Be kind to the elderly: www.associatedcontent.com/article/239885/be_kind_to_the_elderly_random_act_of.html
… the man you let ahead of you in the line at the Pharmacy. He didn’t look as if he was in a hurry, but was so appreciative when you offered. He could have been up all night with a wife sick with the flu or perhaps nursing his own fever that kept him away from work for the last week – deadlines were missed, stress was increased. Or maybe he was simply having a bad day with every little thing going wrong until he got in line with you – your small gesture changed his dreary outlook for the day.
See the difference kindness can make: www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7gbvgJ8Ez0&feature=related