When you hear a certain song does it make you think of a person or an experience you’ve had?
This week, I’ve been thinking of five people who have really influenced my life. And, I’d guess that none of them really meant to. They were just living their lives and doing what they would have done whether or not I was around. And, that’s what influenced me.
One neighbor was always busy serving others. She visited, she shared, she worked, and she provided what she could whenever there was a need in the neighborhood.
One of my great-grandmothers didn’t have an easy life as a wife or mother. Never able to meet her, I just always wondered about how and why she still lived a good life. I found a letter she wrote saying she felt like she had so much love to give, it felt selfish to hold it in.
Another neighbor was friends with anyone. With everyone. He really touched thousands of lives by being himself. He was good, he loved others, and he worked hard.
My grandpa genuinely loved his family and friends. It was a pure love. The sparkle in his eye while he listened showed the sincere feelings he had. At the end of his life, he went every morning to serve others. He passed away early one morning on his way out the door to serve.
And, the last person I’ve thought a lot about his week is an aunt. She didn’t like recognition for what she did so her kindness was quiet. Days before she passed, I sat with her. A visitor came to say goodbye. While the visitor would be looking away, my aunt would signal to me to offer a drink or something to eat. Later, she signaled to me to bring a napkin. Many of the visitors who came those last few weeks mentioned that they felt like she did more for them than they were able to do for her when they came for their last visit.
I don’t know of any one grand gesture any of these people made. What I remember wasn’t one spectacular moment. It’s the kindness, compassion, and love they shared.
This week, don’t guilt yourself over not having hours to spare or hundred of dollars to give. Just do one thing.
Send a text.
If someone speaks, listen.
It will feel so good.
The song that makes me think of all of these people is Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?