By LeAnn Hull; Printed in the Glendale Star, February 2015
Every day brings a new barrage of information and happenings in our world. Often times I find that there is just too much data to process on a daily basis, which can lead me to being overly anxious, depressed or just plain discouraged. Lately, I have made a conscious effort to minimize my exposure to the news on the TV, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Now that’s not to say that I am advocating putting your head in the sand, I am merely stating that I needed a larger space for other input to flow into my life. Hopefully, you have heard me speak on the importance of getting involved in community and political activities if you wish to make a difference, which would require some degree of current and accurate information on the world affairs. So how do we manage this? What can one little person do to make a difference?
Having now lived in two states, Arizona and North Dakota, both which have had varying degrees of boom and bust cycles, fear and uncertainty are natural responses. I’m sure that even anger and judgment are rearing their ugly heads. I can tell you from firsthand experience, after losing my construction company of 28 years in Arizona during the last housing bust, that it is truly terrifying. There were so many vacant strip malls and apartment complexes; it almost looked like a ghost town or an apocalyptic event.
Every day I had to remind myself that I was healthy, had a roof over my head and food to eat. Realizing that that wasn’t the case for many people as they faced the loss of their jobs and homes, I did what I could do for others facing dire circumstances. It’s not that I am little Miss Do-Gooder, I just knew that I needed to focus on the small things, which would eventually give me a more positive attitude and lead to a new direction in my own life.
You know the saying, “When one door closes, another one opens”? Well, that indeed will happen, but you have to remember to make sure that you take the steps necessary to look for another door.
So let me tell you about one little, yet extremely important thing that someone does for me that changes my outlook on life on a regular basis. One month after my son Andy relocated to Heaven Dec 11, 2012, I started receiving a handwritten note on the 11th of each and every month since that terrible day. Sometimes they are short and sometimes they are more in depth, but no matter the length, I know that I can count on it when I go to the mailbox. We knew each other because our sons both played baseball together for many years. Even with that she wasn’t one of those people that you sit on the bleachers and share your life’s’ story with on a regular basis. We were always supportive and kind to each other, but just not real close. So what compelled her to write to me every month? Does she even know the depth of the impact that she has on my life now by this simple little act of love and kindness? She has touched my heart in a way that I had never experienced and consequently been an example of the kind of person that I want to be.
So, for today I will remember to focus on the little ways that I can connect with others and make a difference. Who will you reach out to? Whose life will you alter by a simple act of kindness today?
LeAnn Hull can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.