Just One Thing
Things are tough. People don’t listen, and you can’t influence everyone. We need advocates in our lives to make a difference or at least we believe that we do. It can be depressing and it is a challenge. Everyone on this planet is faced with some adversity, it is a part of our humanity. We are all faced with life, death and the stuff that happens in between.
I was talking to a good friend a few days ago, he was telling me that a 30 year old cousin of his had a heart attack and died immediately. It was an unexpected event and this young adult had plans of getting out of the corporate life and doing something different with his life. He wanted to leave a legacy. My older friends talk a lot about legacy. They talk about leaving something behind that is of value. There are many people that work hard and attain wealth and status but still feel they have something they need to do. They have a strong desire to do something good and leave a legacy.
We can talk about religion and G-d and all of the philosophical aspects of life and legacy but my sense is that we have to think more about now. I don’t think that we should wait to make a difference. We should make a difference right now. We should focus on what we can do on a daily basis as we make choices. We should make it part of our awareness and activity. For me, I answer emails and phone calls that other people consider a waste of time. I take meetings with people that others would not. I speak to people often and I listen as much as possible to give them time to tell their story. This isn’t a perfect scientific formula. It is simply making the time and taking the time to be aware. It is taking the extra effort to help someone when you can choose to do something else. It is making a phone call to make an introduction. It is meeting with a young person looking towards a career. It is volunteering for something. It also can be paying attention to someone.
Many times, people only pay attention to others they believe have some value. Everyone has value. Just because I am not aware of this at the time doesn’t mean I should ignore them.
I am not saying this to lecture you or even tell you something that you already know. The reason I am saying this is because today is a gift, it isn’t a promise to you or anyone else. We live in a complicated world of distraction. We are distracted and we wake up and days, weeks and months pass. We are distracted and focused on success. Success being .. whatever you define it. I am thinking to remind you that we are a few generations from being forgotten. Think about your great great grandparents for a moment, you may not even know their names. Your name may be forgotten as well. The actions we take and the legacy we leave may not be tied to our names. It very well may be something we inspire someone else to do. It may be a lesson that you teach. It may be an act of caring and kindness that changes or saves a life. It may be a simple thing like holding a door for a person and having a child witness it. It can be many things but you have to make a choice in the moment to act and to care. You have to make a choice to make a difference and you have to be aware.
Think about this and how you can do one thing to make a difference. Just try it out and see what happens. I would be happy to listen or read your stories..