March 10 saw another birthday come and go for me. Since I don’t believe in age, sometimes I have to really think to remember how old I actually am. Age really isn’t an issue for me, but as I get older, I tend to reflect more on my life. It’s easy to look back on our lives and wonder if they could have been different. We sometimes even play the ‘what if’ game: What if I had done this or hadn’t done that, would my life have been any different or better?
Playing the ‘what if’ game can be dangerous in this respect because we cannot change the past. Sure, there are some things I wish I would have done different. And of course, if I could go back in time knowing what I know now, then I could probably change the course of my life and all my dreams could have come true. But I didn’t have the wisdom and knowledge that I have now. In fact, I’ve become the person I am because I didn’t gain this wisdom until later in life.
All the things I’ve experienced in the past have made me who I am today and I like who I am. I just don’t always like who I’m not. I’m still a work in progress, still trying to figure things out, and still hoping some of my lifelong dreams will come true.
Then there are those occasional times that I wonder if I’ve wasted my life. Have I made any difference? Would life have been better without me? Many of us have those thoughts including some of my friends, so we’re not alone in this thinking.
We all know the Christmas classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring James Stewart. It’s about a man who thinks all is lost, but his Guardian Angel shows him what his life would have been like without him, and how much he really did touch so many hearts and changed so many lives for the better.
Many of us think that if we’re not doing something on a greater scale to make a difference, then what we’re doing doesn’t really matter. But it does! There are many who touch lives by the hundreds and thousands, and that’s absolutely fine! We need them! But for the rest of us, we make a lot of difference in people’s lives just by living our day-to-day existence, and it’s just as important! We touch and change lives one person at a time, and all those one persons can really add up! Never underestimate your ability to help others or to make a difference in their lives!
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper March 17, 2017.