Wednesday, August 16, 2006

You Can Change Your World

Compared to the unimaginable immenseness of all that we know exists, you are an insignificant speck. Indeed, the whole planet on which you carry on your life is like one grain of sand on an ocean beach.
You are one person among 6.7 billion people. The number of humans alive today is so vast that it would be impossible for us to meet everyone, even if we greeted a different person every minute of our lives. The number of babies born in China or India each year would make meeting every citizen of those countries impossible in a lifetime.
Yet, without enough grains of sand there is no beach. Without you, the world would not be the same.
Unlike grains of sand that influence each other only marginally, you have the ability to influence many other people. In fact, you do that daily.
Think about how bad you feel when you are mistreated by a clerk in a store, how upset you get when someone honks a horn or gives you the finger without a good reason, how helpless you feel when you pass a homeless person on the street or walk the hallway of a hospital peeking into each room as you look for the patient you came to see.
These people have influenced you, touched your life, without even intending to.
When you are treated well by a store clerk, you may have a good feeling for a few minutes afterward. Without your being aware of it, that good feeling might last for several more hours. It may make you want to pay forward the good feeling that someone gave you, to improve someone else’s day.
We all know how easy it is for others to cast a black could over our day. We may not realize what an extensive effect someone’s good deed or smile can do for us. If we do, we can pass on the smile or good deed to others.
You may not be able to turn around the lives of each sad or miserable person you meet. However, you may begin an avalanche of goodwill by simply giving a smile to each person you meet.
You have no influence on the great world around you if you believe you don’t. If you believe you can influence the world, begin with a smile.
When you improve the day of each person you meet in one small way, you will influence them to help improve your day.
We have many examples of rude behaviour and bad role models available to us and to our children. We have greater power to show compassion, support and helping, to be good role models to many people if we choose to begin small and do what we can with what is available to us.
In broadcasting school, students are taught that if they want to put warmth into their voices while “on air,” they should smile while they speak into the microphone. The same effect happens when we speak to others we meet while smiling at them.
Smile while you speak to those you meet each day. You will find that eventually the world around you will have changed to meet what you want of it. It’s a long process, but it can begin with you.
Please accept this smile from me. And my wish that you have a good day.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, striving to make the world a better place by giving everyone a place to start.
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