It’s the Small Things

Week 4, Day 3 – Make a Difference

(Post originally written October 2015)

Last week, my daughter held a student-parent conference. She went through all her school work of the year (to date) and explained the different projects they’ve been working on in the classroom. One in particular stood out to me. The project included identifying the different groups she belonged to and helped her identify who she is and what her individual role is within her community. Being in third grade, her groups were not numerous. They included examples like her school, her city, her church, her family and friends.

What if we all sat down and made a diagram like this. How would we describe ourselves and our ability to make a difference within our own little worlds? Perhaps we can include little circles for our playdate groups, book clubs, Bible study groups, exercise/gym classes, our professional groups, our social media contacts, etc. Some of our groups may have members that overlap, and maybe not.

When we think about the different circles we belong to, we can see how big our circle of influence really is. And it begs the question, ‘Do we act the same within each group, or do we pick and choose where to make a difference?’ Do we choose to make a difference when we think the return is only worthwhile, or do we take a chance and do things that may not see any return?

Yesterday, I posted a graphic that highlighted the word ‘unity’ inside the word opportunity. The thoughts shared were so wonderful and brought a few extra things to the table that I hadn’t even thought about prior to reading. To make a difference, it requires us to be unified within our body, mind and soul, and then to reach out to others to make little ‘pockets of unity’ within our circles. Can we seek additional ways to make a difference in our everyday interactions that not only improve our own quality of life, but the life of others?

As some of you may already know, my family took a little trip this week. We spent several hours walking around the World’s Fair held in Milan, Italy. We clocked over 24 hours at the expo. We had a unique opportunity to connect ourselves to multiple crowds and people. Certainly, we could have kept to our own and only minded our own business. But, our experience was more rewarding when we reached out to help and connect with others. Others that were complete strangers, but in the same circle as we were for a short period of time.

One moment, I was walking down the street trying to figure out what country to visit next. I was stopped by two girls, speaking Italian and asking me something I had no idea what they were saying. I could have easily ignored them and walked away with my hands in the air expressing that I had no idea what they wanted. (Which is probably what I would’ve done just a few short days ago.) Instead, after my dumbfounded look gave away I was not understanding, I simply said, “I’m sorry, do you speak English?” They giggled, and said, “Oh yes. Where did you get your tote bag?”

I had received four complimentary tote bags from the USA pavilion (one for each of our family members). I simply offered one to each of the girls. They were surprised, excited and grateful. While I wasn’t particularly looking for an opportunity to share at the moment, I did recognize the moment as an opportunity to not only be an ambassador for America, but for humanity. It made me realize there are probably several moments in my life where I simply look the other way instead of mustering up the courage to face an opportunity head on and make a small difference during the course of my day.

*Mindful Moments – Make a diagram of your circles, with your name in the center, and reflect upon your influence for each group. Where do you see missed opportunities to make a difference? What action can you take to be more bold in your interactions with others from that group?

*Grateful Graces – What are you thankful for today?

 

to be continued…Week 4, Day 4: Led by Inspiration

New to the series? No problem. Start the 28-day journey to renewing your Spirit of Giving from the beginning with Week 1 – Learning the Basics , Week 2 – An Attitude of Gratitude – OR – Week 3 – Livin’ by Forgivin’.

 

 

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