I was having lunch with a girlfriend the other day. Between us, we had about 25 years in social services. And as most conversations do when two people share a profession, ours turned to work. Prompted by the memory she had of a client who had overdosed. We talked about the hundreds of families we had served over the years, some successfully and some not successfully. The unsuccessful cases seem to stay with you even when you have done the best you could.
I talked about my decision to test the teaching waters and how just after a week of being in the classroom the students and I bonded.
Then our conversation turned to how we affect the lives of people every day in tiny ways that probably not even register on our emotional radar. The cashier at the grocery store, the man who almost hit me in traffic, the woman I smiled at while crossing the street after it happened.
The truth is that every time we encounter someone we leave an imprint upon their life.
Most of those encounters are probably one and done. But, we make decisions each day on how we are going to connect with someone. Will our contact be positive or negative? We make that decision! To yell at the waiter because the lettuce is wilted. To go through the door without holding it for the person behind us. Decisions!
We, humans, are powerful creatures we can create peace with a smile, a thank-you, a seemingly innocuous phrase like have a nice day or let me get that for you. It may seem petty to us but those innocuous phrases can change the trajectory of someone’s day. We meet hundreds of people each day and because of this contact no matter how brief. They and we are forever changed. How many lives do you touch in a day? Unless you leave in a cave or on a remote island, I would say hundreds. Remember your words have power, and your actions can heal.
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