Most of the time, we go through life totally oblivious to how our words and deeds can positively affect - indeed, change the course of - another person’s life. It could be a simple observation we say to someone, it could be a random act of kindness (as simple as a smile), or it could be the role model we become for others that can make all the difference. Several instances have come to my notice this week that remind me of the way we are connected and bless each other. And most of the time, we have no idea that we have given a miracle to the other person!
Last week, I received an email from a friend who thanked me for helping her get through a tough episode during a recent road trip. I replied to her email saying I didn’t know what I did to help her. She explained that the example I set of praying before meetings at our church gave her a tool and the inner strength to get through that difficult time. I was flabbergasted. I had no idea that I had any influence over her or any other person.
Similarly, I recently received a text message from a friend who thanked me for being an angel for her. I texted her back to ask if she sent the message to the wrong person! No, she assured me, I was the intended recipient. She was thanking me for being there for her during some rough times.
Here’s another example: Several months ago, an executive at a large company hired me to consult with her department. She assigned a much younger woman to be one of my main contacts for the project. I took the younger woman to lunch after our project was done, and she told me what an outstanding role model the executive had been to her, teaching her that a woman could be both business-like and caring in a high-level job. With the young woman’s permission, I mentioned her words to the executive, who, like me in the previous stories, was flabbergasted that she had that much influence over another person.
And, the story continues. That executive (who gave me permission to write about this) recently received a LinkIn.com invitation from another younger woman who thanked her for being a great role model to her. And get this - this young woman never worked for the executive, but her husband did!
I can think of times when friends and acquaintances have done something for me or said something simple that profoundly affected me and influenced my life’s journey, if only just a tiny bit. Even tiny mid-course corrections can change the ultimate destination of a journey. If you are driving north from Austin, veering left at a critical junction instead of bearing straight can mean the difference between arriving in Dallas or Fort Worth! So that means that I am here, right now, writing to you in this blog because of all the tiny miracles I have so abundantly received, that each changed my life’s course if only a little. It gives me shivers to think about it.
I ask you to do two things:
- Be aware of the simple, everyday miracles that bless your life. Did someone smile at you at the grocery store? Did someone hold open a door for you? Did a co-worker bring you coffee? If you can, make that person’s day by thanking them.
- Take advantage of opportunities to create a simple, everyday miracle in someone else’s life. Smile, laugh, love and perform acts of random kindness. You may never know how you affect another person, but do it anyway. It will make you smile even more.