Thursday, October 7, 2010

Making a difference

We go about living life doing what we do and not giving it much thought. It’s who we are. We might volunteer at church or at school. We might compliment the cashier when we buy our morning coffee or send a hand-written note to tell someone we’re thinking of them. We might hold open the door for the lady using the walker or help the young mom at the checkout who thought she had another five in her wallet.
But I’ll tell you a secret. People are watching, we just don’t know it.
True story. A friend of mine lost his job. Guess what? He was quickly offered a better job making more money. Turns out that my friend, who was active in the community, was being watched by the owner of a company. The owner saw the good things he was doing and thought, “There’s someone I’d like to have on my staff.” When the company owner called my friend and offered him a job, he was blown away. He had no idea that the owner had been watching him. He was living his life doing what he always did, not for accolades or because there was something in it for him, but because it was the right thing to do.

Another true story. The other week I was at the YMCA. This young woman came up to me and told me that she had been watching me work out and how I had inspired her to lose weight. She said something like, “I see you working so hard. You don’t care what you look like (picture a wet dog). You are just doing your thing and I think, ‘Look at her go. I’m gonna try.” She thanked me. I had no idea that she had been watching me or that I had inspired her by my rather intense workouts and not-so-pretty appearance. (Smiles) So now when I go to the Y and she’s there, she runs up to tell me how many minutes she’s been able to walk on the treadmill. At first, it was 5 minutes. I encourage her to add another minute and not to give up. We talk about how she can make better food choices. And I’m so grateful that she said something to me because now I can encourage and support her in her efforts. One of the saddest things I ever heard someone say was that their goal was to lose enough weight so they could go to an amusement park and get on the rides with their kids. Wow. Just writing it brings tears to my eyes.
So what’s the point of this post? I guess to remind all of us that our actions can make a difference. There are far too many people in this world who want to know what’s in it for them. And here’s the truth that they will never know because they are incapable of seeing beyond themselves: It’s not all about you or me. It’s about everyone.
I want to live the kind of life that I can be proud of. That doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes. I make them every day. That doesn’t me I make all the right choices. I’ve made plenty of bad ones. It means that I try to do the right thing. That I try to help others and give back to the community when I can. I hope that you do, too.
If the spirit moves you, I'm looking for charity auction items. Details here.


  1. Great post. It's so true that we have to give back to our community. My daughter's school needs a lot of help and I try to pitch in where I can, even if it means my writing career goes slower. Because it's the right thing to do and I know my daughter and her friends are watching and appreciating it. It'll be something I know I'll be glad I did when I look back on my life.

  2. Great post Buffy, thanks! I can only say amen to all you wrote... it IS in the small things that we can all make a difference. We should treat others as we want to be treated, right!? So a smile, an encouragement, a handshake or a friendly word can really make someone's day, just like that!!

  3. Lovely post, Buffy! You are right. Live a life you can be proud of...go out and do good because it's the right thing to do...