Beginning a new year always has its share of hope, excitement, commitments, and challenges. We look at it as a time to start fresh, to view the world differently, to renew our resolve to leave our mark on the world. When you look at it through the big picture lens, it can seem daunting, but leaving a legacy doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Once upon a time, a little girl sat happily in the crook of a mimosa tree’s branches. There she read, pretended, and imagined. She playacted and dreamed. She saw the world through the special lens of a child’s mind, and ideas were her friends.
Many years later, no longer in the crook of a tree’s branches but still venturing out on a limb, the little girl turned woman began to see the world differently. It was a very real place with real people who had real needs. It was a place she could make a difference for someone if her imagination could guide her in the right direction.
The woman thought how wonderful the world would be if we all treated our parents and grandparents like the kings and queens in fairy tales. She began to seek out people who thought the same way she did, people who could envision change in the way we all treat growing older. She formed a community of doers – people who acted on ideas. These doers came together to change the lives of older adults, one by one.
Each day, we have the opportunity to influence someone. We have the chance to impact a situation or make a connection. Sometimes it just requires us to open our eyes and look a little closer at what’s happening around us.
In the New Year, you will have many paths that will lead you to a place of helping people and impacting their lives. It might be through charitable giving or volunteering. It could be within your job or your school. You may find your path working with children or the elderly, with those with special needs or serious illnesses. But never, ever doubt your own ability to make a difference.
If all you do each day is make one person smile, you are leaving a legacy of joy. If you pick up only one piece of trash from a parking lot or a yard, you are showing you care about the environment around you. If you help just one child with schoolwork or just one older person with finding something in the grocery store, you will demonstrate a belief that each person matters. It doesn’t have to be a dream. Imagine the world if everyone did one thing each day for someone else. Let the idea be your friend.
We all keep a lot of plates spinning. In the New Year, let’s resolve to make one of those plates filled with people whose worlds we can change, just a little at a time.