Today was a pretty rough day in my house. Our 3-year-old cat died from a sudden and rapid kidney failure. We realized last night she may not make it through the night. Sadly, my daughter was tired from an outing last night when we came home and fell asleep before we realized there would be no chance for her to say goodbye. This cat was special to the two of us. She was found abandoned before her eyes even opened, and together we bottle-fed her and nursed her into a healthy, albeit very devilish little kitty.
So, when my daughter woke up today, Maddie was already gone. I watched my 12-year-old sit on the floor with her pet and stroke her soft fur. She quickly made her a necklace of bright-colored string and tied it around her little neck. She lovingly touched her with tears flowing the entire time. She said her goodbye in her own way, and it was heart wrenching to watch as a parent.
When I logged on to Facebook, still feeling pretty sad, this was the message that awaited me from a friend: “Just so you know: you are one of the nicest people I know, and you have made my life better just by being in it.” This friend had no idea what had been going on in my house, in fact I hadn’t talked to him in the past few days. It was just random. One of his friends had posted the status “Just in case you need to hear it today: go out of your way to make someone’s day. Give them a simple compliment and watch their day turnaround.” and he decided to do just that.
This reminded me of a meditation from last week.
Just for Today – October 13
“Words cannot describe the sense of spiritual awareness that we receive when we have given something, no matter how small, to another person.”
Basic Text p. 100
Sometimes it seems as though there is so much wrong with the world that we might as well forget trying to make a difference. “After all,” we think, “what in the world can I do? I’m just one person.” Whether our concerns are so broad that we desire global peace or so personal that we simply want recovery made available to every addict who wants it, the task seems overwhelming. “So much work to do, so little time,” we sigh, sometimes wondering how we’ll ever do any good.
Amazingly enough, the smallest contributions can make the biggest difference. To gain more from life than an ordinary, plodding existence requires very little effort on our parts. We ourselves are transformed by the deep satisfaction we experience when we lift the spirits of just one person. When we smile at someone who is frowning, when we let someone in front of us on the freeway, when we call a newcomer just to say we care, we enter the realm of the extraordinary.
Want to change the world? Start with the addict sitting next to you tonight, and then imagine your act of kindness multiplied. One person at a time, each one of us makes a difference.
Just for today: An act of kindness costs me nothing, but is priceless to the recipient. I will be kind to someone today.
When I read this meditation last week, I thought about all the friends I have who are making such a difference right now. I have some pretty amazing friends in my life right now who are fighting to make this world a better place.
Sometimes it DOES seem like we’re banging our heads against the wall. Other days, like the one in this video, are just amazing. Sometimes when I think about the incredible friends I have and the things they are accomplishing, I think that they must have something I do not. I think they are making a difference and I wonder if I am capable of that. This meditation reminds me that making a difference doesn’t have to be global. Sometimes you just need to be that one person who makes a difference to one other person.
Today, my friend was that person. “Just so you know: you are one of the nicest people I know, and you have made my life better just by being in it.”
Thank you. I needed that today.