Friday, August 24, 2012

Making A Difference

Yesterday I received a very kind email from a co-worker I have known for many years. We see one another rarely, occasionally speaking in the parking garage or walking in or out of our building. In her email she thanked me for my blog and told me how much she was enjoying it. She also shared with me a personal struggle that she’s been dealing with in her life. Thinking about her email last night gave me two thoughts. The first thought is that we often don’t realize how much the things we say or do may affect other people. When it comes to my blog I often have self-doubt. I imagine people thinking “Who is this Michael Brown and why does he think the whole world wants to read his thoughts”? I also sometimes think “What do I know about anything”? Sometimes when I have these thoughts I soon receive an email like the one I received yesterday. Such emails affirm me and give me a sense of purpose because I am reminded that I am doing something good. The second thought I had from yesterday’s email is how we rarely know what burdens are being carried by other people. All the times I had seen this co-worker I had no idea what she was going through in her life. The lesson to be learned here is this. Speak kindly and smile to everyone you encounter.  Your words or smile may give them what they need to get through the day. In addition, don’t criticize others or be judgmental of them. You probably have no idea what they might be going through and what burden they may be carrying. An old Native American proverb goes, “Do not criticize your neighbor until you have walked a mile in their moccasins”.  We all carry burdens that others do not see.

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