Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Thought for The Day - Make an Impact

I wondered how I would say this, how I would share this lifelong sense of worth, but here it goes. And as I gather the thoughts to express, I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Growing up, my earliest memories were of my father's smile and his laughter. Now, for the most part, he was quiet and most certainly not a joker. No, he laughed and smiled usually in response to someone else's jokes or stories. He is what is known as a good natured guy. It seemed his goal was to bring joy to others and of all the people I know, he always seemed to put everyone else's needs before his, even to his detriment. At the time, I "knew" I couldn't be like him, because it was easier to live in the small world of my head. Yes, his life of service was enviable, even desired, but that wasn't me.

Flash-forward: I'm a middle-aged father and husband. I struggle to stay a step ahead of the bill collectors, work hard and try as I might, I can't help but live a life of service. This blog, even my art, are ways to communicate "good feelings" to others. I find myself, surprisingly enough, smiling and laughing with family and friends, just as my father still does. I find that I genuinely enjoy smiling, even if I can be as quiet as a church mouse. I find it easy to extend my ear, more than my mouth, when a friend is in need.

Honestly, I struggle with the notion of making an impact. I know I want my life to have meant something, for the world to have been made a little better by my time here, and so many times, it seems I'm not getting the job done. But then, I remember the people who say "thank you" for my listening or the times I give advice. I think of the friends, my wife or my children, who call to tell me "you wont' believe what just happened!" And yet, here I am, this quiet, insecure guy who's life doesn't amount to much! Go figure! I must be reaching something, right!

Perhaps you find yourself feeling the same way and like me, you think you have wasted your life. Don't count yourself out. Consider family, friends, even people who respond to your expression on the streets. Many want to make a positive impact in this world and little by little, we are doing so. Keep up the good work.

The above is written in memory of George Duke who, in his "gentle giant" way, with his gentle smile, made a difference to many through his music. You are missed, George!