Category : Blogs
Sub Category : LifeStyle
If there is anything I have learned in this life, it is that small things and small moments can make all the difference.
A good friend of mine inherited a big chunk of money from her wealthy grandfather eight years ago. The amount was substantial enough where she could basically do anything she wanted with it and live a pretty cushy life if she wanted to. But instead of making plans to travel around the world or shop to her heart's content, she decided to put the money to good use, where it would benefit other people instead of just herself. She invested in a bungalow house, fixed it up, and turned it into a center for troubled souls. It is not a facility or an institution of any kind, just a warm and welcoming safe haven for anyone who needs it to recuperate, to work on themselves, and/or to find themselves again. She chose to make it an independent outfit with no affiliation to any organisation, and all the funding needed to set it up, to maintain and run it comes from the money she inherited. The manpower behind the scenes are made of volunteers from all walks of life; family and friends who are dedicated to do just one thing - help others. I am happy to say that I was one of the first batch of people who signed up to help her with her cause and today, after five years of operations, we have a steady number of volunteers helping out.
Earlier yesterday, I received a call from her informing me of a newcomer who had showed up at the center and she asked if I could come and talk to the seemingly distraught young woman. While she waited for me to arrive, she made sure that the young woman was fed with a good meal, prepared by the kitchen volunteers. When I arrived, I was relieved to see that the young woman was looking pretty relaxed. I introduced myself to her, asked her some basic questions about herself, and when she told me that she has a special love for animals, that's when I knew I could build a bridge to reach her. Animals, that was all it took for me to break the ice and her wall. We talked about that topic so passionately until I saw a breakthrough and only then did I ask her about her story and why she landed at the center's doorstep.
She told me that growing up it was very difficult for her to believe in herself, given the circumstances and those with whom she was surrounded. After two years of thoughts about ending her life, she finally considered telling her mother since she had grown increasingly worried she would succumb to the temptation. While it took all of the courage she could muster, when she approached her mother and asked if they could talk about something important, her mother dismissed her and insisted that whatever it was, it could wait until after the TV show she was watching was over. She didn't end up telling her mother until ten years later. And when she told her mother how she had treated her in that moment that could have turned so many things around for her, her mother wept. She came to the center not to seek comfort, but to offer comfort to others. In short, she wanted to be a volunteer. She figured she could help others who are facing similar circumstances as hers by using her own experience to persuade and convince them to see that life is a gift. My friend and I were more than happy to have her onboard and we believe she will be a valuable addition to our growing family at the center.
None of us can possibly know what is in the hearts of those in our lives unless they open up and talk. We are not mind readers. Which is why it is important to remember that each moment makes a difference. Think about it, one moment can make or break a career, one moment can begin or end a relationship, and like the case of the young woman, one moment can save a life, physically or emotionally. In any given moment, we have a choice. We can choose not to care, or we can choose to use a crucial moment of tension to offer love, not only for others but mostly for ourselves. Every choice we make puts us on a path to some things, and away from other things.
We can choose to use a moment to encourage someone who is down, and bring a smile instead of a tear, for example. Hopefully, the moment is recognized when we offer the belief in a family member or friend that will alter the downward spiral of their existence and enable him or her to pull up from the nosedive and soar higher than ever. I personally choose to use my moments as best as I can, and I have clearly seen how the seemingly smallest acts of kindness have made a significant difference. I know that there are times when one can feel invisible and that choices and decisions somehow do not matter. I have felt much the same way in my own life at times. The truth is, however, not one of us is ever truly invisible. There are always others watching and waiting, for perhaps something to give them hope and the will to press forward.
We will never attain perfection in this life, whether our own estimation of it or that of others. Mistakes will be made, and we can never get back those tragic and misfortunate, unwise and hurtful moments of the past. We can, however, set things right by making sure we choose love, kindness, service, compassion, encouragement, accomplishment and any number of good things to use in what moments we have remaining. We have the choice to do things right and out of the love that is in our heart and make moments count for ourselves and for others.
As we get closer to the Christmas holidays, let's take a moment to think and plan ways on how to have meaningful goals to get closer to all of those around us, as it is an especially crucial time for those who aren't enfolded in the arms of loving and supportive family members and friends. Often even those who seemingly "have it all" are actually lacking a much needed love for themselves too. They might just be putting up a brave front to mask their pain inside, we'll never know, because like I mentioned earlier, we are not mind readers. Never underestimate the smallest acts of kindness for they are the ones that can have the most powerful impact that can make a difference.
Picture yourself in a dark room. Then picture yourself lighting a candle in that dark room. If something as small as just a candle can serve to illuminate a room, imagine what one phone call to a loved one can do, or one kind message to a friend, or one comforting comment made in person, don't you think they can manage to illuminate a soul otherwise darkened by loneliness and anxieties? All it takes is just one brief sacrifice of your time to remember that you can show someone who is struggling that he or she does in fact matter, because sadly, in the current hustle and bustle of routine and obligations, more and more individuals are feeling invisible and forgotten.
It doesn't take much. Just one heartfelt letter, email, or text message of gratitude can serve to ease the burden of someone feeling unappreciated, for example. People may not voice it out openly but beautifully giving and kindhearted souls out there need to know that their efforts are indeed noticed. Sure, presents are nice to receive, but the gift of one's self, the gift of one's heart, there is no price tag to that.
We are each worth so much more than we could possibly imagine, and by giving our service, kindness and gratitude to others, it is part of what helps us to remember our own worth. Don't ever think your efforts are meaningless or insignificant because just one small effort, one small act of love, is often all it takes to soften a heart, melt the cold of loneliness, or renew hope.
Just one. 💜