As we go through life, we learn many lessons, not only through our own actions and experiences, but through the actions and experiences of others. These lessons help to shape who we are and who we will become.
Rick (link below) was a man who taught me an important lesson, the day I saw him at the end of the hall. I didn’t realize it at the time, however, I was making a life-changing decision by not taking the time to talk with him that day. I didn’t realize until I walked into the infirmary and saw him lying there, not able to talk or open his eyes, that I missed the last opportunity I would have to connect with him. I sat by his bed and told him what I should have told him that last day. Did Rick hear those final words of gratitude? I will never know. But I will tell you this; Rick was a very talented person with a big heart. He used his creative mind and passion to work with his hands, to design something special for me and for many others. He used his craft to help make a difference in others' lives. I had been “meaning to tell him” how his kindness impacted me. That was a hard lesson I had to learn, that I missed my last chance. But learn I did!
Sometimes, when I am in a hurry, Rick pops into my head as a reminder to slow down. He is a reminder to me to take time for others. Life shouldn’t be so busy that you can’t stop and ask someone how they are doing. Life shouldn’t be too busy that you can’t take time to sit down at the dinner table with your family and discuss your day. Life really isn’t so busy that you can’t go outside and throw a ball around with your son or daughter. And, as a teacher, life isn’t so busy that you can’t take a few minutes to speak to a student; sincerely asking him how things are going or taking a moment to compliment him on his performance at the choir concert, or for making it to State for a competition. Life isn’t so fast that you can’t call your family members just to say “Hi”. Take time for others and for yourself. If life is so busy that you can’t take time for others, that truly makes me sad for you, as you may be living an awfully lonely life.
Embrace all the lessons you’ve learned in this life so far, and be sure to share with those around you. Life’s experiences can cause many ripple effects, both good and bad - Why don’t we all help to make them good ones.
“Be brave enough to make a change.”