June 23, 2012

image is nothing. impact is everything.

Someone asked me how I want to be remembered. How I am remembered is irrelevant to me. I do NOT care how anyone remembers me. Let me explain!

All that I care about is the impact that I make IN each moment. Image never changed anyone, impact does.
Let’s say I live until I’m 80 and spend 8 hours a day around other beings—human and animal. That’s 14 million minutes at my disposal to make a positive, uplifting impact!
That means I choose not to squander a moment. Parked at a stoplight with a homeless man grinning at me from the curb as he sees my Life is Good sticker on my window. He says with a smile “Live IS good”. With a huge smile and a big thumbs up, I shout back “Life IS good isn’t it?! Hope yours a great day!” It’s walking out of the coffee house spotting a patron sitting alone at a table looking grim and making a cheery comment. It’s calling a friend on my commute and telling them how much them mean to me. It’s thanking a customer service rep for great service. It’s not merely buying earrings from an artist, it’s telling her why I love her work and think she’s incredibly gifted. I don’t care if anyone remembers WHO made a positive impact on them; I care about the impact.
I remember walking back into a jewelry shop a second day in New Orleans with Gregory. We had chatted with the young female clerk the day before as we always had great fun engaging those around us. As we walked in to the shop, her eyes lit up and with a huge smile she said, I was just writing a note to my boyfriend telling him I had met a couple and that I wanted us to be more like them!
Does it take more energy, more awareness to BE in each moment, not just for my own gain but for the gain of others? Hell, yes. It means dropping my guard and being a kid sometimes. Gregory taught me to walk into Amy’s Ice Cream and bounce on the floor cheerily greeting the ice cream scoopers with some kind of loud cheer like – “It’s a great day to eat ice cream!” 3 scoopers would beam back cheery responses and the whole demeanor of the ice cream shop would lift. It means giving attention and love to my cats even when I’m tired and don’t feel like it. It means pushing an adult friend IN the shopping cart thru Target as we pick up a few items making everyone smile. It means talking with total strangers. It means getting a charge from lighting up the face of someone I don't know and will never see again.
We are granted 14 million gifts. 14 million opportunities of impact another life. I don’t want to squander a single one of them.