How often have you thought that the gifts you bring to this world weren’t so special? That any number of people could have filled the space you hold?
It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed reminded all of us that we each hold important places in this world of ours. Like rings spreading from a drop of water, the impact may lessen over time, but the effect cannot be denied.
I think my question is “What does it take for us to actually see, to completely realize, the impact we have on our world?” Just listing broad categories, one might think of the environment, business, people, or education. But the broad categories would never be enough to get to the heart of the matter. To determine the real impact of each individual person, it’s important to be mindful and consider depth.
- You were a good child and sibling. While your childhood may have been less than perfect, it was also wonderful. You came to terms with whatever was lacking, and ending up finding multiple blessings. You established close relationships with your siblings, certainly with the normal ebbs and flows that all bonds experience, but you were always someone who could be counted upon to pull through and be there when needed.
- You were a diligent student and established positive ties with your peers. They knew they could count on you, almost to a fault, while you were very busy earning degrees and, even more importantly, were busy learning life lessons you would soon teach to so many, your own children included.
- You have been a loyal and loving spouse and parent. Your children know they can expect empathy and compassion from you, but you know clearly that you are a parent, rather than a best friend, and keep that parental role in mind. Your spouse knows support is always present, making you part of a magnificent team. Your home has always been filled with love and laughter and the door has been wide open to anyone at any time.
- You have had a positive influence on students, peers, and the community at large. Your religious values guided how you lived your life and you never exhibited a trace of condescension for those less observant than you. You knew everyone had a gift to give, and worked hard to bring those gifts to life. And then you accepted little, if any, praise for yourself and showered everything on the other person. You simply inspired and helped others be the best they could be.
- The community has been the recipient of your generosity multiple times. You help organize social service for both adults and children. You make the world a better place, and inspire others to do the same. You simply have the gift that keeps on giving.
- Like your childhood, you are not perfect, but you are wonderful. And you never stop trying to improve yourself…and others.
Does this describe you? What holds true for you, and where have you fallen short, if you even feel you have? Regardless of age or circumstance, we should all be mindful and take stock of our lives. We should all make sure that the legacy we leave is one of which we would be proud.
And if we determine there’s an area where we could do better? Be better? It’s never too late to make a change.
And may I say just one more thing?
Thank you, my friend, for the gifts you have given to this world. I love you. And I will do my best, in my own way, to carry on the example you have set. Because you, you see, have made a difference in our world.
With hope for all good things for everyone,
photo credit to Jake Melara