Believe that what you do matters
Many people go through life asking that preverbal question, “Why am I here?” Most realize that we were given this gift of life for a reason, but often go through it trying to figure out why that gift was given. Some discover their purpose early in life, while some search well into their later years. Unfortunately, many aren’t able to figure it out by the time their life is complete. For those of us who are fortunate enough to discover our purpose, the meaning it gives our life is immeasurable. The one thing that we have in common is that we not only act like what we do makes a difference, we know it does.
When I founded the Bring Smiles to Seniors program, I discovered my why. Visiting my grandmother in her senior community, I noticed that there were many individuals who were not as lucky as she to have family who cared. The bare walls of rooms and sullen faces of those who were residents, led me to an immediate conclusion that there had to be something more that could be done. From the first delivery, I knew what the program I had started was doing to make a difference in the lives of those who were being reminded by that simple piece of paper that they still mattered. While I knew and believed that, I had no idea the broader impact that purpose was going to have on more than just the seniors on the receiving end of cards.
Although designed to help seniors, I soon discovered that “help” was going to have greater meaning. Individuals involved in the program were able to find new purpose in their own lives. Those facing unimaginable adversities had a reason to hope again. People who felt the loss of loved ones discovered a new faith in humanity, compassion and the kindness that still existed in the world. Individuals from across the world came together to form a community that serves as an example of what can happen when we harness “the power of we”. Despite all of this goodness, the one question that I often hear is whether or not what an individual is doing is good enough. My answer is always the same.
It was one card that caused the woman in the senior community to speak when she had not spoken since arriving at the community. It was one card that made the man move to take it from someone’s hand, when the community thought he was completely immobile. It was one card that reminded that senior that woke up feeling alone in the world that they were remembered and loved. Finally, it was that one card that made a difference in someone’s life because someone believed what they did mattered. How large or small the effort isn’t important. The fact that an individual believes that what they do makes a difference, is all the motivation that is needed to feel the satisfaction of their action.
All efforts, large or small, should fuel us to act as if we what we are doing matters. Perfection and quantity isn’t what makes the difference. It is the love, dedication and passion for what we do that ultimately makes the lives we serve and the world we live in a little better.