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I will always remember certain moments, moments when my life was significantly
changed by a caring friend or even a stranger. Before some of these events I always thought that
to change a person’s life you had to be wearing spandex beneath a flowing cape, and possess
some extraordinary super power that could be called on in an instant. What could someone like
me, so ordinary, so small do to make a difference in the world? I am not a doctor nor am I a
scientist; I have not even graduated from High School, there is little I have to offer. But recently
a teacher of mine showed me otherwise. From him I learned a person does not need to donate
millions of dollars to charity. I learned that you do not need to conduct medical research to cure
illnesses in order change the lives of others.
Like many other people I have always struggled with self doubt. I wonder constantly
what I will do with my life. Will I make my family proud of me? Am I good enough to make a
difference in this world or will I simply slip through it like a shadow fading with the light? These thoughts
piled one on top of the other adding to my stack of burdens. One day I broke under their weight.
My teacher noticed this and took the time to speak and patiently listen to me unravel my pained
thoughts. At the end of the conversation he insisted that no matter what, I have already done
great things and I can continue to do so. Not accepting this I shook my head, “No I can’t.”
He looked back at me warmly and simply replied with, “Yes. You can.”
Those simple words will stay with me forever. They are comfortably nestled in the back
of my mind, under my cape, and tucked into my spandex, waiting to be called on in a moment’s
notice. When I find myself thinking that I am not good enough I remember those words. That
person was able to change my life simply by taking the time to talk to me. Just by noticing
that I was sad and by being willing to listen to my concerns, this man drastically made my life
better. He is not a doctor, he does not have millions of dollars, and he is not the head of some
awareness campaign. But now he is a friend and in his own little way a hero. It is because of my
experience that I encourage everyone to smile at a stranger on a dark day, maybe pay for the bill
of the person standing behind you, or to ask someone who looks down if they’re ok, regardless
if they’re friend or foe. No matter how small it is, a simple gesture of kindness could be all that
someone needs. It doesn’t matter what you do, but do something, reach out and be that person
who lets someone feel cared about, be the person who makes a difference, because I believe you
2 Comments On This Entry
I believe you're a hero too.
on Jan 31 2012 04:14 PM