|image from www.values.com|
Written on my white board in big green letters is the word GIVE. My friend Marcy comes up with one word a year to represent her goals or resolutions. I like this idea, and thought I would like to pick a word too. There are obviously many words I could have chosen and benefited from, but this one felt right for now. The question is, what and how should I give?
To come up with ideas I thought of the many times that people have given to me. I have realized that often, without even knowing it, those who have helped me have created a miracle in my day. For example, in The Multiplication of Smiles I mentioned that one girl's kind comment and cheery smile turned my day around. Her thoughtful act has continued to influence my thinking, and has changed my life for the better.
Another night I was walking to campus in the dark for a late class. A girl came up beside me. I did not know her, but she struck up a conversation with me. She asked me questions and seemed genuinely interested. I went from feeling a little lonely, to feeling that my thoughts mattered to someone. It made such a difference in my outlook that I have remembered, and been thankful for this stranger for many, many years.
There are so many ways that people have given to me. I remember my Mom giving a listening ear, and compassion as I fought homesickness the first night in a new place. I remember my Aunt giving me a comforting hug after I had been in an accident on the way to her house. I remember neighbors tending children, offering money, and willingly watering the patch of yard we never got to. I have been given notes, and email, and the benefit of the doubt. I have been given friendship, food, love, ideas, perspective, and wonderful things. Each of these gifts, and more that I have not listed, have been a miracle to me. These gifts have helped to lift me up when I was down, and to heal the hurt from the sorrows and worries I was dealing with on that day.
I like the idea of giving. The kind of things I have been given, I can give to someone too. Everyone has something large, or small, that they can give every day. We may never know the result of the things that we give, but it is possible that when we choose to give, we will be giving someone a miracle.