A friend of mine’s husband just passed away from a terrible form of blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma.
I never actually met him. But it’s amazing how someone you barely know can have a huge impact on your life.
Going to the funeral, hearing about his life and how he touched so many people with his kindness, talent, and spirit, got me thinking about his wife and how she treated me kindly way back when we were in school and I was the target of several bullies. (We didn’t call it bullying back then – – but it totally was.) We weren’t friends back then – – just classmates who traveled in different circles. We all went away to college and I never saw her again – – but I never forgot her and her kindness to me during a very dark time in my life. (In case you’re wondering, yes, we did reconnect, through the amazing power of Facebook, and have since become friends.)
I have spent the majority of my life trying to figure out what my career should be; what my purpose is here on earth; why does it matter that I am here? People have told me I have a nice smile, that I’m a good soul, a good listener, a good teacher. And I used to think, “yeah, but what good is that if I can’t apply it to doing something significant with my life!?!” I was often filled with despair. Once, and I don’t remember what the context was, my brother said, “and the spirit of Nan shines through.” I didn’t understand what he meant.
But now, thinking about all of this…maybe I’m starting to Get It.
The thing I remember most is the way people treated me – – those who were cruel and those who were kind. That’s what really has an impact on people…that’s what lasts.
So thank you, Larry, for showing me that one person’s life can have an impact far beyond what they could ever imagine, and that what matters most is how we treat one another, not what career we pursue or achievements we rack up. And, whether we choose the road of cruelty or the road of kindness, that choice can make a huge difference in someone’s life, the people around us, and ultimately can change the world.