Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I have this theory. It’s not deep. It’s not revolutionary. It is however something I need to remember more often. It is “You never know when, where or how you could change someone’s life.” You could change it for the better or you could change it for the worse. A nice word, a mean word, an off handed comment, letting someone out in traffic, not letting someone out in traffic, an unexpected compliment, an unintended insult… You never know what gesture or comment may make a difference to someone else. I have had many such encounters. It is usually the simplest of gestures. The other person generally has no idea that they had such a big effect.

When we first move to Ft. Worth, I was miserable. We were far away from everyone we knew. No friends, no family. I went to the post office and the postal lady looked up and, acting as though she remembered me, said “hi there how are you today?” I nearly cried on the spot. She was so kind, so genuine. She changed my day, my entire out look. She changed my life that day. She made me just a tad ok with being 1,000 miles away from everything I knew. She has no idea that to this day I remember her.

A few years ago, one encounter changed me so deeply, so profoundly that I am still struggling to deal with it. It was a simple thing but it changed me. For the better or worse I still haven’t decided but it changed everything about me.

All of this however is about today. Today, I am struggling. I have been for a long time. This isn’t the forum for why; just know that I am in turmoil and struggling. For some reason, today was particularly difficult. I forced myself to the gym, not because I wanted to workout, but because I had to workout. I had to get in my running practice. I had to prove that I am capable. I had to prove to myself that I can do this. At the end of my workout I ran into a long time acquaintance and ….he changed my day. With one kind, off-handed comment, he changed my entire miserable day. He changed my outlook and put a bounce back in my step. I walked out of the gym taller than when I walked in. It wasn’t much, just a kind word but little did he know the impact.

Such small gestures put me in awe of the power we have. I hope that the lives that I have affected have been more positive than negative. I pray that I remember my own “theory” the next time I become impatient and that I remember to compliment my friends and acquaintances often.

I have wanted to write about this for a long time. Thank you to my friend for giving me the inspiration to actually put it into words.


Laura said...

Morah, you are so right about how we just never know the impact we are having on others, whether it be positive or negative.

I'm so sorry to hear that you are having a rough time right now. I think we have all been there and can at least generally understand what you are going through even if we don't know the specifics. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you work through your struggles.



The Calico Cat said...

Thanks for sharing, we all need to remember this. (Meanwhile, I just ordered my matza - ack.)

KimP said...

Lovely post. Thanks for the encouragement to show small acts of kindness.

Purple Pam said...

That is such a wonderful post. I agree with you. I try to do "random acts of kindness" often. You never know when you will be the one to make a difference in someone's life.

julieQ said...

I so totally agree, we just never know what another person may be going through, and a kind word or touch may be just what they need to see them through there day...by the way, I am your neighbor...run on up to Arlington anytime!


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