This week’s writing prompt for #youredustory: Inspired by MLK: How will you make the world a better place? Suggestion by Nancy Minicozzi
creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by dougbelshaw
As I sat and reflected upon this, I thought, “What DO I do to make this world a better place?” I then began thinking about the people who inspire ME to be a better person; which in turn makes the world a better place.
I began thinking of people who help others, quietly. I thought of my friend Bryan who stands in front of malls offering ‘Free Hugs’ near the holidays. He is a person that is there for his friends and will do what he can for others. He teaches me what true kindness, and generosity is.
Then there is Jen. Years ago I went to a conference with her. She witnessed a man digging through the hotel’s trash. We were on our way out when she made me stop the car. She jumped out of the car, ran over to the man and gave him some cash. I was raised NOT to do such things, so I asked her why she did it. She explained that a person must really be in a really bad place to have to resort to such actions. From that moment on, I have given to others. I learned empathy from Jen.
Finally, there are those that participate in the ‘Pay It Forward’ movement. I immediately thought of Liz and Lisa who have often done this. Who knows how many lunches, coffees, and drinks they have given to others anonymously. They most often have done this good deed in the drive through lane. I have learned generosity, giving, and selflessness from both of them.
So back to the question at hand, what will I do to make the world a better place? I will use the lessons that I learned from those mentioned, and many who were not. I will continue to show generosity, empathy, and kindness to others in the hopes that I can affect others the way my friends have affected me.
Empathy is a skill, it is the mechanism for connecting with others and we must teach and model it to our kids in school and as parents. We can explicitly teach skills of EQ, such as empathy, to our kids to help them not get to ‘react’ before they ‘respond’. Thank you for sharing your story, heart-warming and encouraging!