We go through life consumed with ourselves, our lives, our past and our futures. We try to do the right things, say the right things, be good at our jobs, live up to expectations, and all the other things we try to do to be good, happy, successful people. All the while we are interacting with others. We are influencing others, impacting others, and changing others.
A close friend of mine and mentor is a chiropractor. It is his job to help people find relief from various back and neck pain among other things. He has helped many people in his profession. He treats people with respect and compassion and he knows how to listen without his hand on the doorknob. One particular patient that came to see him was in such pain by the time she came to the office she was contemplating suicide. The pain had gotten so bad she couldn’t take it any longer. She didn’t voice this at the time of her appointment and thankfully he was able to provide her with relief. Today she is pain-free and living a happy, content life. He was just doing his job but she credits him with saving her life.
The person I am today has been shaped by the numerous people who have impacted my life. The people who had faith in me before I had faith in myself. The teachers that influenced me, the friends that gave me a laugh, the mentors that saw potential. The people who let me down taught me to be there for others. The people who showed me love taught me the kind of person I want to be. One person making a thoughtful phone call can make my day, week, or month. Another can provide a hug that lifted me out of a funk. Everyday I get to do a job I love because people trust me enough to let me put needles in them with the hope that I can take their pain away. They are doing as much for me as I am doing for them. They are letting me practice a medicine I have a deep respect and love for. Trying to express my gratitude to these people, all of them, doesn’t begin to touch the level of thanks I feel for these amazing people. Many of them aren’t even aware of the impact they have had. Everyday I think about these people. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life.
They are not superheroes, most of them haven’t been awarded any significant prizes, but they are amazing in my eyes. You have no idea how wonderful someone may think you are or the impact you have had on the people you have encountered.
Life is about interactions, life is about people. We have no idea the impact we are having on someone in any one moment. Remember this when you are murmuring your parting words, when you are meeting someone for the first time, when you pick up the phone, or when you chose to offer a stranger a smile. You have no idea how one word, one smile, one hug, or one work day will influence someone. You might just save someone’s life.