One Word at a Time
by Jackie Alvarez
I received the greatest compliment that Iíve ever received a couple of weeks ago. And Iím still thinking about it. There in the midst of a crowded room, my friend leaned over and used the most profound words Iíve ever heard anyone use to describe me. It was the kind of compliment that was unexpected, but it came right at the perfect time. Right when I was questioning myself. And it made a world of difference!
My friendís words werenít powerful to just anyone Ė but they were personal to me. It meant that the small things actually do make a difference. It meant that someone noticed when I took the high road. It meant it was worth it.
And, itís made my world a better place.
My friend didnít realize how great of an impact those words would have on me. And it got me thinking about simple honesty and wondering if my words could change someone elseís world.
When I think about changing the world, I have illusions of grandeur. I want to leave this world a better place than when I got here. I have visions of rescuing girls out of sex-trafficking. I hope that one day I can buy completely organically and only support Fair Trade commerce. I dream of travelling to faraway places where I can serve the needy. I want to adopt orphans and to feed the hungry.
I have big dreams Ė dreams that someday I can be more involved. But in this season of my life, changing the world might look more like what my friend did for me: Sharing words of encouragement, affirming others and enriching those around me.
I may not be changing the whole world with my simple words. But itís what I can do. And hopefully it will change someoneís world too. And who knows Ė maybe theyíll go on to change someone elseís world.
Itís the simple things, such as letting my best friend know I appreciate the way she always knows what to say in tough situations. Itís encouraging an elderly person that their life experiences still matter. Itís making sure my neighbor knows I notice how nice they keep their yard. Itís sharing with a friend how Iím continually encouraged by her perseverance. Itís seeing beyond me to notice how those around me make my world better. And in turn, maybe I can make their world a little better by noticing.
Jackie Alvarez is the Editorial Coordinator at MOPS International. This year sheís ďliving smallĒ in hopes that the little things will eventually lead to big dreams.