Everything you do matters because choices have consequences; some make life better and some make it worse. And with our busy lifestyles today, I think we forget how important we are to others. I think we lose track of the power of our words, our actions, and at times, our inaction.
Recently, my nine-year old daughter sent a letter to Bethany Hamilton, the young lady who lost her arm in a surfing accident in 2003. My daughter was so inspired by the movie, Soul Surfer, that all she could talk about this summer was surfing, the ocean, and Bethany Hamilton. Then when she discovered that she could join Bethany's fan club, oh my gosh, you would've thought she won the lottery.
A couple weeks later, my precious little nine-year old gets a letter in the mail with a return address from Hawaii. To our surprise, Bethany sent posters, post cards of Hawaii, and even wrote a personalized response to my daughter's letter that included a prayer regarding questions she asked about surfing. My little girl was ecstatic and I was floored.
I had to watch the movie and find out what this surfer chick was all about.
Of course, I cried.
The movie was great, but the message is what really stuck with me.
The message: We might experience the greatest moments imaginable, but we could also be dealt a devastating blow when we least expect it. How we respond to those moments matters. And Bethany responded beautifully. At her lowest point she was ready to give in, to quit surfing, and drop out of life all together, but she didn't. When she read through the fan mail and letters of support that came in by the truck loads, she realized that she had a unique opportunity to influence and inspire.
The point I want to make is that everyone of us has a unique opportunity to influence and inspire. If you work and live with people, every word you say has the power to encourage or beat down. Your words matter.
If you're a coach, you can inspire greatness or generate defeat. Your methods matter.
If you're a parent, you can communicate love and acceptance. Your parenting style matters.
If you're a writer, you can stir imaginations and inspire thinking. Your prose matters.
Teens, the way you treat others can change the world, because one kind word can stop a suicide.
Everything you do matters, today, every minute, every second.
We often rush through the day without thinking about our potential to influence the world around us. When we forget, we stop living with purpose and we start living within ourselves, a place that usually impacts others in a negative way. So take a minute before you say or do anything else and focus on the people around you. Then, make a conscious effort to inspire and encourage, smile, give a hug, don't complain, work harder, plan better - live intentionally.
You may not have a million fans, but if you live your life like it matters, you'll have more than you thought possible. Just ask Bethany.
Author of Reunion & other thrillers