"Something as simple as listening to someone's story or saying hello can change the whole course of their day." In less than 24 hours, I received two thank yous for two different reasons. One is a little personal, so I will be respectful and not share my friend's story, but the other I received from a member while at work yesterday. She walked up to me and asked if that was my only job and I told her I also teach. She said she wanted to thank me for always taking the time to say hello to her daughter, who is 5, everytime they arrive. Her daughter always gasps and gets soo excited when she sees me, simply from me remembering her name and knowing who she is when she walks through the door and allowing her to talk to me while I'm working. The mother said she always gets embarrassed because she thinks her daughter is taking up my time while I'm working. I told her that it isn't a problem at all, it makes me hapoy that she is happy to talk to me whenever she comes in. I was surprised that she thought her daughter was a bother to me, yet grateful that she thought me talking to her daughter makes such an impact whenever I see them.
As for my friend, I told her there is no need to apologize for sharing her story. In sharing with others, you are giving yourself permission to release a load you have been holding for years. And in turn, you may be giving someone else permission to do the same. I've always said I wanted to help and inspire others. Sounds vague, but God has given me the tools to do so. In teaching dance, in sharing my poetry and random thoughts, in listening to others, and simply in remembering names and faces and taking the time to say hello and ask about the last thing they told me about. In the thank yous I receive, I realize that I am doing the work that God wants me to do and that I'm making a difference in the lives of others.