Monday, February 4, 2013
From Where I Sit: Make A Difference
Good Morning Love. I'm very excited! Over the weekend I was emailed by a fabulous reader that had asked me a question to be answered in my From Where I Sit (You can read some former pieces here, here and here or do a search for From Where I Sit in the search bar in the right side bar to read all of the questions asked so far.) column. The question was this:
"Hi Jamie. I have a daughter who has just begun high school. She is having the worst time with bullying. Unlike you, her disability isn't physical; my daughter is autistic. I wondered how you dealt with this problem during your high school days?"
I've thought about this question all weekend - how am I going to respond? I have answered a similar question here in the past, but I didn't want to simply direct them to an older post because bullying has truly become such an epidemic in our world and my heart aches for those who face it day in and day out!
Again, rather than talk about how I dealt with this issue, since it was in the above mentioned post, I wanted to focus on what we can all do to make a difference in this situation.
Many people believe that they don’t have what it takes to make a difference to the world. They believe only people like Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and the like are capable of making a difference, but not them.
The truth is, every one of us is put in this world to contribute and make a difference in our own unique way. It need not be anything outrageous. It just needs to be something you do with the intention of ‘doing good’.
1. It Need Not Be an Enormous Task
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa
You already have what it takes to make the world a better place. Making a difference to the world may seem like an enormous task, but it is in fact the collective effort of everyone to make small contributions with a lot of heart. I remember being in high school and dropping a book or pencil and unlike my able bodied friends, I cannot reach the floor to pick up what I dropped. Having someone help me with such a simple task, we so appreciated. Remember, the size of the contribution is not what matters most. The key here is to have the heart to do it.
2. Start Now
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank
There is no one best time to start to make a difference in a person's life. You don’t need to wait until you have the time to share some love; you don’t have to wait until you make more money to share a slice of bread. Little efforts count, and you can start making small contributions today.
3. Your Contribution is Never Too Small
“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” – Author Unknown
If you think that everything has been taken care of by somebody and your contribution is not going to make much of a difference, then you’re wrong. Can you imagine if everyone else starts to think the same way?
If you know that someone is struggling with an issue and choose to let someone else step in to help, just think about the opportunity you are missing to be a support in someones life! I understand it is so easy to think, "I don't want to get involved," "It isn't my problem" or "I'm sure someone else will help them." However, you - yes YOU - can be the person that enables them to get through their situation.
In fact, it is our responsibility to seek ways to contribute, large and small. You don’t have to be concerned you’re only capable of making small contributions. What counts is the effort. What could be such a minor act of kindness to you, could be life-saving to someone else!
4. The Greatest Gifts of All
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – Buddha
Happiness and love are the two greatest gifts you can give. Too often, we’re too indulged in our own gratifications that we forget there are people in this world whom we can make a little happier and feel more loved.
As the saying goes, “To receive, you must first give.” The more you give, the more you’ll receive. Let us remind ourselves that in order to receive more happiness and love, let’s spread more of them first.
5. Empower Other People
“Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.” – Dale Carnegie
You can change the world by helping one person at a time. One of the ways to help someone is to empower the person. But how do you empower a person? Well, one of the ways is to be generous in giving praise and encouragement instead of criticism.
By praising and encouraging the person, you have helped him/her to accomplish what he/she is meant to be, and that would lead to more value being added to the world.
Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren't any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn't be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life's challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person
The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better. Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help. This week try to reach to someone that might need a lift - their world and yours will be changed for it!
P.S. If you have a question you would like to ask me about living with a disability, fashion, makeup, etc - leave a comment with your question here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I promise to answer in an upcoming From Where I Sit piece!