The power to choose
”…whatever you do it’s working; we are giving you carte blanche — both of us.
We love seeing how well she is doing.”
That was several years ago: two happy parents — expressing their gratitude for my help.
They were in the U.S. for a short visit. The father was running several businesses, frequently traveling outside of the home country.
A few years prior, visiting with friends in the States, he decided to have his daughter going to college here.
(It just so happened that we had some friends in common; and that’s how I’ve met the family.)
It didn’t take long for me to begin giving unsolicited advice on the college courses “my student” was taking.
I started giving her specific instructions on how to get the most out of each lesson.
Then I scheduled several hours a week and helped guide her through some of the subjects she had more difficulties with.
As the end of the school-year was approaching my student was getting really excited to go back home.
One day, at one of our sessions, she turned to me and asked,
“Do you want to come over and visit? You would love meeting the rest of my family”!
I smiled and said how much I appreciated the invitation.
But I couldn’t. Maybe sometime in the future.
My student kept insisting.
I knew why. She, along with her family, appreciated my help.
And an all-expenses-paid trip was yet another way to express their gratitude.
Pay it forward
Then I had an idea. I said to her:
“If you feel you want to do something, for all the help you received, I have a suggestion on how to pay it forward.
Talk with your family and see if you can help someone less fortunate. Maybe a former classmate.
Someone that is bright and wants to learn; but doesn’t have the necessary support.
You and your family can help that person reach his or her potential.”
Seeing the light of possibilities
How did my student respond?
A big smile flooded her face.
And the light in her eyes became so bright.
Across demographics, economic classes, etc. — this is the kind of light we all want to see more of.
It’s the light of possibilities, of all the good we can do with and for each other.
Over the years I’ve had the privilege to see it happen a few times.
The impact you have on others may not always be so visible.
But make no mistake: what you say and do will influence others.
More than you think.
In everyday life — at home, at work, in the community:
Your words and actions DO matter.
You have the power
In this fragmented world of ours remember this:
You do have power.
You have the power to choose:
You can be part of the problem.
Or you can be part of the solution.
Thanks for visiting.
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