I remember just like it was yesterday, my meeting with someone I hadn't seen in years. We embraced, giggled, and even were in awe of the fact we hadn't seen each other in at least two to three years. I had transitioned to a new job with a different company and she had remained in her current position at an ever-growing company.
So, when you haven't seen someone in a long, long time what do you do? The first thing you are dying to do is catch up on each other lives, and discuss everything under the sun & the moon too. You simply enjoy the moment together. While eating lunch the former co-worker asked if she could share something with me. I immediately begin to think oh no, is she sick, has something tragic happened? Or I even thought maybe she has wonderful, exciting news she wants to share. Whatever she needed to share I was ready and willing to listen. As she leaned in closer and swallowed deeply, I tried to prepare myself (if that's possible) for what she was about to say. She began to share a very dark time in her life when she was having difficulties making it from one day to the next. She shared how at that time she felt hopeless, discouraged, and definitely unloved. I literally felt glued to my seat as she poured out her deepest feelings, and valley experiences. I didn't want to look away, or even move for fear I may miss an important part of HER life story. She went on to say she had been barely functioning at that time but definitely not living. She was merely existing from day to day praying things would change for her. Her face suddenly changed from one of mourning the past to one of cheer when she asked, "Do you know what helped to change my situation?" By this time I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting desperately for the answer. What had turned her life around? What did the person do that made such a difference?
She cheerfully explained how this co-worker who always loved to eat, plan programs, and ooze with positivity impacted her life. I sat there waiting for her to tell exactly what the person had done......this was intriguing to me. She said days when I didn't want to eat or go on you asked me to come to lunch, or you invited me to an event, or sometimes you just simply made me laugh even when I really didn't want to. No matter how low I was you listened, and you found ways to help me. YOU CARED!! Now, if you really know me you know by this time I was crying. I never even thought about those things I was doing as life changing. I simply was trying to be kind, positive, and lend a helping hand where needed. I had no idea she was in such a dark place when worked together. True, I know she had ups and downs as we all due but I definitely didn't know her life had spiraled to the point of not really wanting to go on.
I will never forget that lunch with her. I will never forget her words to me. I will never forget how she looked when she said," You had no idea how you were helping me."
I share this with you to celebrate the power of our impact on others. There are certain people only you can impact, and there are certain people only I can impact. It's simply the way it is. Never underestimate what you do.........even the smallest things you do for people can impact their lives. Even the things you think don't matter; they do. Begin to look for people you can encourage, motivate, empower, and lend a helping hand too. If each one of us reaches out to at least one person we can literally change a community.......and the world.