“Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring – all of which have the potential to turn a life around”
– Leo Buscaglia
Almost any person will admit that at one point in his or her life, he or she wanted to change the world for the better. Whether it’s discovering the cure to cancer and AIDS or finally being the person that makes world peace happen, we all just want to make a difference.
As we grow older, however, we realize that making a difference isn’t all that simple after all. There are responsibilities to be fulfilled and bills to be paid. After all these have been met, you’re just too tired to go out and change the world. Suddenly, making that big difference seems more of a daydream than a vision waiting to become a reality.
As law students, it’s very easy to get caught up in our own little world and think that we’ll go out and change lives later after we’ve graduated and passed the bar. But there are people in our society who won’t live long enough to see us get through that hurdle – rather they need us to help them get through their hurdles now.
Depression and suicide has been more prevalent in the news in recent years, but each one continues to shock society because “no one saw it coming.” This shock is particularly true in relation to those who have attained success or who have so much to live for. In light of these lost lives, many would often wonder, “could we have done something to prevent it?” The answer is YES.
I have no expertise that would qualify me to give a credible opinion regarding the emotional well-being of a person, but I have encountered people who have attested that all it took was some act of kindness by another human being to turn their life around – for a suicidal to realize his or her life has meaning and value, for an addict to realize he or she can find happiness without abusing substances, and for a young person to realize he is capable of great goodness. All it took was for that person to choose to care for another.
Not all of us can leave a mark that changes the world – in fact, most of us probably will simply pass through history – but we are each capable of a simple act of kindness that can impact a life so powerfully it creates ripples that will change the world for future generations.
Faced with the towering walls of life’s challenges, we forget that sometimes, making a difference doesn’t necessarily mean you change the very fibers of society in your lifetime.
Many times it has to do with changing just one life in your lifetime, and letting that person change two lives in his. P