One of the most important things I think we can do while we are this earth is to help others. We all have the opportunity everyday to be someone’s miracle. I believe that you may not change the entire world, but you can change someone else’s world by being their miracle.
What is a miracle? It’s getting past yourself and giving back to the world. It’s taking the spotlight off of you and shining it on someone else. It’s realizing that life is not always about you. I wonder where I would be if wonderful people hadn’t helped me when I needed it. What would my life be like if teachers, family, friends, co-workers, and mentors hadn’t helped me?
What if no one had reached back to pull me forward? You have to remember that whatever you achieve in life isn’t accomplished by yourself. An African proverb says it takes a village to raise a child. In other words, part of who you are comes from the positive influence of those around you. You didn’t arrive here by yourself. It’s your eagles who got you where you are.
How do you give? You can give in ways that you’ll remember for the rest of your life or in ways that you might forget next week. Too many people have what I call “Little Ant Syndrome.” They see themselves as tiny ants on a huge planet. What difference can one person possibly make?
You can make a difference! Have you ever noticed that when you focus on someone else’s problem, your problems don’t seem to be so bad? When a series of horrific tornadoes cut through the south, one news report showed a victim whose house had been destroyed. The amazing thing was, she was in her Red Cross uniform, helping others at a shelter. That’s the miracle—people living not only for themselves but also for others. What’s your attitude toward helping others? Are you one of those every-man-for-himself types? Or do you believe service is not only your privilege but your responsibility? Think back over the past month. What have you done to help someone else?
My older brother, my brother-in-law, and my oldest nephew are all firefighters. They don’t do it because they can’t get another job or because they’ll one day make millions. They don’t do it because they’re adrenaline junkies and enjoy the rush of danger. They do it because they’ve devoted their career and their lives to saving others. They’re everyday heroes. Miracles can come in very small packages, too. One of my mentors, after hearing me speak, told me I was a very talented speaker. It didn’t take him five seconds to say that, but it’s something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. You can be a mentor—you can whisper words of hope, life, and encouragement into someone’s ear. Everyone has some kind of skill, expertise, or talent. That’s a perfect way to give back. After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Dr. Craig Greene, a doctor I met at church, flew to the island to lend his medical skills. Writing a check to the American Red Cross would have been easier, but his expertise was what was needed. He worked twelve to- fourteen-hour days to help the earthquake victims and the overwhelmed hospitals.
His example inspired me to take inventory of my skills. What unique abilities do I have to give back? Speaking is my gift. I sometimes work with schools and worthy causes to help them advance their missions. I didn’t write this book to see my name on a shelf in a bookstore. That’s not to say it’s not exciting, but I felt inspired to write it in the hope it would help others to get off their attitude—to realize the negativity that was holding them back from their potential, and from the fulfilling positive life they could be living. I think what I’m doing with my business is, in part, one of the ways I can give back. Another way I give back is with my Get Off Your Attitude bracelet. Every time one sells, a portion of the proceeds goes to a worthy cause. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to return, in a small way, the help and support I’ve been given.
You can also be someone’s miracle. All it takes is the right attitude. Whenever you find someone with a bigger problem than yours, become their miracle. While you are becoming their miracle, they may become yours. The miracle you make could be as simple as listening to someone. I recently read an article which said the suicide rate in our region was up. I wonder how many of those people simply needed someone who would not only talk with them, but also listen to them. How many lives could have been saved by knowing someone cared enough to spend a few hours listening?
You can lend an ear or lend a hand. There are thousands of non-profit and volunteer organizations who desperately need your help. They’re looking for someone who can pack food boxes, stuff envelopes, or staff a booth at a fundraising event. You don’t need some special talent to do any of that and you can still make a difference!
This holiday season commit to making a difference in people’s lives and making them your first priority. That is what Christmas is truly about, helping others, being a miracle and making a difference in people’s lives.
“Remember that it is up to you to choose everyday to Get off Your Attitude and to create a positive lifestyle for yourself and others.” Ryan C. Lowe