Labels

12000 (1) 2009 (10) 2010 (14) 2011 (19) 2012 (55) 2013 (37) 2014 (40) 2015 (39) 2016 (27) 2017 (43) 25000 (1) 30000 (1) 50 (1) 911 (2) ABOUT TIME (2) absentee fathers (2) action (29) adversity (12) advertising (2) age 48 (2) ALZHEIMERS (1) america (8) anger (6) apple (1) baby (1) backup (3) balance (2) BASEBALL HALL OF FAME (1) BEST MAN (1) BEST MAN HOLIDAY (1) birth (1) birthday (5) BMW (1) BOSS Mustang (5) breakups (10) breathing (2) bullies (5) Carol Clark Williams (1) cars (7) celebrity (11) child (3) children (10) choices (83) Christmas (2) class (4) class reunions (3) compassion (19) contacts (2) COOPERSTOWN (1) creating (6) CROSS COUNTRY (1) dating (29) DEATH (1) decisions (39) depression (13) DICK VITALE (1) disappointment (3) DISPOSABLE (1) diva (1) Dogstar Books (1) dreams (38) driving (5) DUKE (1) Earl Boykins (1) ELECTION 2016 (1) ELVIS (3) ENTERTAINMENT (4) ESPN (1) events (1) ex-girl (15) facebook (1) FAILURE (7) FAITH (4) fallen heroes (9) family (22) fatherhood (11) fathers day (3) FEAR (1) FICTION (1) FINDING YOUR ROOTS (1) football (1) friends (9) FRIENDSHIP (15) funerals (5) GEORGE TAKEI (1) giving (15) GLEN CAMPBELL (1) GOALS (2) GOODWILL (1) google+ (1) government (2) GROUNDHOG DAY (1) GUNS (1) happiness (9) Harrisburg Pa area (2) hate (3) HEALING (2) heartbreak (18) HELL (1) helping (28) HEROES (1) HISTORY (1) Honda (2) hope (50) hopelessness (10) humane society harrisburg area (2) humanity (42) humble (8) humor (6) I'LL BE ME (1) INSPIRATION (1) integrity (4) internet dating (6) JANA KRAMER (1) JIM VALVANO (1) job (9) job satisfaction (9) joy (19) KARMA (3) KATHY GRIFFIN (1) laundry (1) Lebron James (1) Library (1) life (49) LIFE INSURANCE (1) Lincoln (2) living (47) Long Island Medium (1) loss (20) lottery (6) love (43) LUCK (1) marriage (2) MARTIN LUTHER KING (1) Mary Saladna (1) masturbation (1) MEMORIAL DAY (1) Michelle Obama (1) MIDDLETOWN (4) Midtown Scholar Bookstore (1) MOM (21) moments (19) MONEY (1) MOTHERS (1) MOTORCYCLES (1) movies (9) MR PRESIDENT (1) MUSIC (1) NCIS (2) NEED (1) new years (1) OBAMA (1) Olympics 2012 (1) online dating (5) opportunity (29) parent (10) PAUL WALKER (1) people (41) perception (38) perspective (46) pets (2) PICTURES (1) poetry (43) POLITICS (2) positive thinking (17) POWERBALL (2) pride (9) purpose (2) quality time (6) racism (7) rain (1) reading (3) red lights (1) regret (12) relationships (53) reminiscing (31) resignation (11) responsibility (22) RICHARD MATHESON (1) RIGHT KIND OF WRONG (1) ROBERT REDFORD (1) ROBIN WILLIAMS (1) romance (40) roommates (1) sacrifice (12) SADNESS (1) SCHOOL (1) seinfeld (1) self-examination (62) SEX (3) smoking (1) SOCIAL MEDIA (1) SOTU (1) sports (6) STACEY DASH (1) STAR TREK (2) starting (3) Steve Jobs (1) STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (1) Stuart Scott (1) stupid rules (1) superpowers (2) Taboo (1) TAYLOR SWIFT (4) TEACHING (1) teenagers (2) TESLA (1) thankful (18) tIGER wOODS (1) tim tebow (1) time (6) tire kingdom (2) toenail fungus (1) TOM PETTY (1) tough love (4) TRIUMPH (1) TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE (1) TV (1) twitter (2) UBER (1) underdogs (1) utopia (3) V-FOUNDATION (1) VALENTINES DAY (1) vince lombardi (2) volunteering (2) VW (1) Wages (1) wedding (2) weird (1) WILD ANIMALS (1) winning (5) women (31) work (12) writers critique (3) writing (32)

Monday, May 25, 2015

COMPASSION

I ran in to a guy yesterday who sparked a memory long forgotten. The funny thing is, he may not even be the person involved, but the image came back quite clear and it made me pick up a pen and start writing....

I was in Jr High, a member of the cross-country team. I wasn't the best on the team nor the worst. Athletically, the only things I have been better than average at was pitching a baseball and bowling, but running was challenging at the time. Some of the details have faded away, but what comes to mind most is that by being on this team, I experienced my first case of inspiring someone.

It was the last race of the season, and I was mid-pack as usual. I did the best I could but there were obviously more talented people on the squad then me, and I was realistic about it. As I was closing in on the finish line, I noticed one of my teammates was struggling. The pained look on his face gave away the condition he was in. As I passed by, I felt compelled to encourage him to finish strong. I kept at it as other runners passed us, knowing that my brother needed help. We eventually crossed the line together and I felt a sense of pride of what I chose to do. It was the first time I had an affect on ANYONE in a positive way.

I might have only been 13 or so at the time, but I was always aware of people's feelings and confidence. I had a front row seat to both my own and Mom's struggles in dealing with people's cruelty. While sometimes painful, it gave me perspective and a toughness that follows me to this day, that I am sure grew out of this experience. Looking back, it WAS worth the torture....

Mom had been on the mean side of jokes, mostly because of her accent. She is from Germany and couldn't speak any English when she arrived many years ago. I wrote about her [here]. I remember thinking that the adults were not that different than the kids that were teasing me about my birthmark, glasses, or body type. They would make fun of how she said certain words or didn't know the meaning of some others. They did not realize she was self-taught and I bet if THEY were put in a strange land with no family around, their language skills would be interesting to say the least. I'm proud of how Mom persevered and made a good life for herself, despite the linguistic hurdles.

Anyhoo....

In going back to the memory, as I said it was the last meet of the year. Trophies were to be presented and I was excited to earn one. In those days, I was an insecure and shy kid that was looking for acceptance anywhere I could find it. The trophy wouldn't just be a trophy. It would be a victory over my lacking self-confidence. I forget if there were actual trophies for the top 5 or so, all I know is I missed it by ONE, and the last trophy went to the runner that I helped on the last race. If I would have kept going, I would have gotten a trophy to sit on my dresser. For a second I was annoyed, and felt cheated, but....

I knew even at that young age, that award would just have reminded me of what I DIDN'T do... SHOULD have done.... and I was doubly proud that I knew the right thing and did it. In helping another human being, for the first time, I realized the joy in looking beyond my own needs and lending a hand to someone else that needed more.

It may very well have been the last time I had much of an effect on anyone, but it doesn't stop me from trying to this day. Trying to help others, make them feel good about themselves, and support their wishes no matter how far fetched. I keep striving because I have hope that, someday, I'll get the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life, and it will matter. It will last.

If YOU want to have this kind of influence on people, I hope you use it often and for the good of those affected. Your soul will be touched every time, I promise....


If you open your heart to the possibilities and know there's a chance....


1 comment:

  1. Kindness and compassion should be part of life for everyone. It is such a wonderful feeling when you help someone. Everyone should try it! I guarantee they won't be disappointed.

    ReplyDelete

please add whatever is on your mind after reading this!