Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Making a Difference

Written by Karen
Phoenix, Arizona
I saw Bill at the gym today.  “Care,” he bellowed from across the room, “you making a difference today?”  I gave him a hug and told him that it was great to see him.  He mentioned that he has seen me working out during the lunch hour, and I replied, “Well, it’s not much, but it is at least 4 times a week for 30 minutes of cardio.”
He said, “Good, that’s good. You can’t make a difference in this world if you aren’t taking care of yourself.”  I nodded.  I am completely on board with this idea.

“You see Care,” he continued, “you are becoming a fricken’ force!”  He was becoming more enthusiastic.  “You have to be a force if you want to make a difference.  You get it?”  I said, “Yeah, I do get it.”  Evidently, he wasn’t convinced.  “See, you have to be a force here and make a difference,” and he moved six feet to the left, “and you want to make a difference there,” he pointed off to the right, and then bounded to the place where he had just pointed.  “But you need strength and vitality to be a force and make a difference here and there.  You get that by taking care of yourself!“  
He stopped and stared at me. After a second, he must have sensed that I did indeed get what he was talking about because he grinned and said, “Give me a high five, girl!”  We slapped palms together.  And, then, he shouted, “Ok, let’s get out there and have some fun.  Double time. Double time.”
We chatted for a few more minutes, and as I turned to leave, I told him, “Sometimes you never know when you have made a difference in someone’s life, but you have, and you should know that.  Thanks.” 
He looked me in the eye and said, “Thanks, Care.  You are going to rock some worlds yourself as you start getting back into the habit of taking care of yourself.”  
I walked away from the conversation smiling – both inside and out – as I headed towards the locker room.  How is it that someone I don’t know all that well can make such a positive difference in my life?  I actually like coming to the gym.  And, if I bump into Bill for a few moments of feel-good, positive, philosophical interchanges, so much the better.  
Yosemite, California
I thought about how simple it really is to make a difference.  A smile, a listening ear, a positive response, a supportive exhortation, a caring question; an honest answer; it might sound corny, but it really works.  It’s about having a positive human interaction; a connection.
But in order for this to happen, you actually have to be in the moment and choose to stay in the moment.  You have to be willing to engage with another person; be willing to make yourself vulnerable and open to whatever exchange will occur.  You have to really care about hearing the answer to your question or statement from the other person.  It really comes down to having respect for the individual; both yourself and the other person.
Bill makes a difference because he is in the moment and he cares about what we are talking about.  There is no protective veneer; there is just an honest human interaction.  He cares about making me feel good, validated, hopeful, and excited about my goals and what I want in life.  It isn’t about him.  He takes the time to be in the moment and chooses to stay in the moment.  These are the hallmarks of having a positive human connection.  And, a critical ingredient in making a difference.  
Ok – let’s get out there and have some fun!  Double Time.  Double Time. 

1 comment:

MoneyIQ said...

What a great story, it really is true how individuals can have such an impact on our lives, on our energy, both for good and for bad. Some people, like the man at the gym, just make you feel so much better about yourself, while others make you feel like your soul just got sent through the washer, dryer, not just once, but three times!