Each week, I receive so many heartwarming letters from you, my dear readers. And I appreciate each and every one. Recently, I received a lovely email from Dr. Bernie Siegel:
“Dear Catherine,” Dr. Siegel wrote. “I loved the column you wrote today about making a difference in people’s lives, and I have a story to tell you.”
I read his words with anticipation. Dr. Siegel went on to explain that years back, when he was traveling a great deal, lecturing everywhere, he had buttons made with a bright yellow star and the words, “You make a difference.”
“Whenever someone was helpful or kind, I would walk over to them and say, “You make a difference.” Then, I would hand them a pin or pin it on their clothing,” he wrote.
“At the hospital, if I saw an employee showing extra kindness or caring, I would walk over to them and brusquely say, “What’s your name?” They would tell me their name with a look about ‘what did I do wrong.’ I then had a pin made with their name and a rainbow on it. I would give it to them at the hospital and thank them for their kindness. It created a subversive group wearing the pin who all knew why they received it.”
Dr. Siegel’s letter continued, “Once, one employee told me she was going to quit working at the hospital because of the attitude of some of the staff. But she said how she came to work happy on her last day and noticed everyone around her was happy. So, she didn’t quit. Rather, she decided to come in happy. I gave her a pin because of the effect she had on everyone.”
“The answer is: we can all make a difference when we decide to be happy and help others be happy, too,” Dr. Siegel suggested.
Speaking a kind word, lending a helping hand or performing a good deed will add more to your happiness than you ever dreamed possible. For the more you generously give to other people, the fuller, richer, and greater your own life becomes. Applaud another’s good efforts. Tell someone who is working hard to complete a task, that you ‘believe in them,’ that they’ll ‘succeed,’ and ‘accomplish their goals.’ And if you can help others fulfill their dream, joyfully do so.
Send an inspirational card or a cheerful email to a friend. For Christmas my youngest daughter made me a precious gift. She filled a clear jar with little notes. On the front of the jar my thoughtful daughter wrote: “101 things I love about you.” With tear-filled eyes of joy, I read the notes. Each one had a heart-felt, beautiful sentiment that came from her heart, and I will treasure forever. For this is one of the best gifts I have ever received.
You can make a difference in the lives of others. And so, offer genuine compliments, express to your friends and loved ones how much you care. Lift up those in need. When a friend of mine, Molly, was moving to another town, she, her husband and four children packed bags and bags of toys. Then, they brought the toys and games to families who had none. What a great example of giving for her children to witness.Read Full Article
Bring homemade goodies in to your co-workers. Help out a neighbor with their yard work. Provide food to a shelter or take a bag of groceries to a family in need. Offer a ride to church or the store to someone who doesn’t drive. Adopt a pet if you can. Share your creativity and organize a charity event.
Try doing a good deed in secret, without a thought of any return or reward. I remember when a police officer in our town was injured. He and his wife have four children. So, my three daughters and I went to a local pizza restaurant and had dinner delivered to their home. We told the restaurant owner not to tell who paid for the dinner. When the dinner was brought to them, the police officer’s wife insisted that they tell who provided it. But the delivery person would not say. Beaming with joy, the officer’s wife was so appreciative, I was told. This act of kindness remains a wonderful memory for me and my children.
So, let us keep on doing little kind deeds for one another. Go out of your way for one, two, or three people each day. Soon, you will see the benefits of giving to others.
Awhile back, I was at luncheon with a group of business executives. During lunch, one businessman told a story that was unforgettable. He said he was hiring someone for a key position in his company. Two candidates had excellent credentials and were equally qualified for the position.
“Well, how did you decide between them?” asked a senior manager who was in our group. The businessman continued to tell us that he invited both applicants to a dinner meeting.
“It was storming outside that evening,” he said, “the rain was coming down in buckets.”
“I parked my car, and the three of us got out. I had a few large, black company umbrellas in my trunk, so I quickly gave each of my applicants one, as the storm was worsening. We all then started walking briskly two blocks to the restaurant,” he reminisced.
The businessman explained that when he scurried into the dry lobby of the eatery, one of his candidates was not there. He waited a minute and looked out the window, wondering where he went. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a young woman cradling a baby in one arm; in her other hand she was holding the large, black company umbrella. Moments later, the second candidate darted in, cold and utterly drenched.
It’s the little things we can do that can make the greatest difference. For this act of selflessness won this gentleman the key position in the company. Moreover, we were told, this man has thrived in his business and personal endeavors.
God created you with your own set of unique talents and abilities. Draw on your one-of-a kind gifts. Make the most of them, and God will bless you abundantly as you determine to forge ahead to help others and make the world a better place in which to live. And every day that passes will be better than the last. Put others first, and God will put you first.
Email Catherine Galasso-Vigorito at firstname.lastname@example.org. To order a copy of her new book, “The Open Window, 8 Weeks to Creating an Extraordinary Life,” visit www.anewyouworldwide.com or bookstores nationwide. Like me on Facebook!