While the community prepares to celebrate Difference Makers, we also realize everyone makes a difference. You decide what kind of difference you’ll make.
Many people make great strides to do for others, but some quietly go about changing the world one good deed at a time. And others don’t realize their actions may be the only positive thing in someone’s life that day or week.
Recently after work, I found myself grocery shopping. My cart had little in it, but most everyone wants to pay and go home. I might look for the shortest line since I’m not one of those self-check people. I’m not going to cut in front of anyone, but twice people have insisted I go ahead of them. While I tried to say “no,” they insisted. My day hadn’t been bad, but their efforts certainly improved it.
Offering a smile as you walk or drive down the street may brighten someone’s day. It may turn the tide for the rest of their day.
Folks running errands for friends and neighbors are making a difference. Taking a neighbor a meal who lives alone or who might not be feeling well is a reminder someone cares.
When my dad was alive, we both enjoyed homemade chili. I’d make chili and freeze serving-size portions for him to microwave. Most mornings he’d go to a coffee shop and he’d have lunch five days a week at the nutrition center; both were promises he made to my brother and I after our mother’s death. If he didn’t want to get out, he could have homemade chili. He lived in a neighboring town, but we talked most nights and I tried to visit once a week.
Calling, emailing or texting friends and family also makes a different in at least two lives — yours and theirs.
When you choose to respond in a positive manner instead of in a negative way, you are making a positive different.
Stop and think before responding in an angry manner. Occasionally pick up the tab for a friend or a stranger’s cup of coffee. If paying for a cup of coffee stresses your budget, visiting is more valuable since it requires your time and energy. You might be the only person who took an interest in them or they may be the only one really listening to you.
When you are making a difference each day, decide to make it positive. You may be the one who benefits the most.
Barbara Ann Horton is a staff writer for the Daily American Republic. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.