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Friday, October 9, 2015

A Life Better



“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.”  Words from Mother Teresa, one of my heroes. 

Made me think of . . .

David.  A young man, who just a few years ago, bravely battled brain cancer.  He had a list of things he had wanted to accomplish:  Prom, Graduation, those things.  So he did.  He and his date attended Prom, though he didn’t stay the entire dance because he got tired and a bit overwhelmed.  We had a special graduation for him and I was able to hand him his diploma.  That same month in 2012, David passed away. 

Always sad when a child leaves us, but I don’t want to focus on that.  Rather, I want to focus on the efforts of individuals to make his life, and those last few weeks of his life, a little happier for him, and for his family.  Efforts to give us all a sense of closure, even though this closure came way too soon.

Made me think of . . .

Michael.  A young man at my previous school.  Graduated with his class, but at the age of nineteen, just three years after his diagnosis, passed away.  Again, far too soon. 

But I don’t want to focus on that.  Rather, I remember a football game.  Michael was a wide receiver, but never got to play because of his illness and how weak he was.  He couldn’t take any hit because the hit would have been lethal.  But, his coach and his teammates knew how important it was for Michael to actually play in a game. 

His coach, Mark, made an arrangement with the other team that on the very first offensive series, on the very first play, Michael would catch his first and only pass- ever- and then step out of bounds.  And that’s what happened.  Michael caught his pass.  Standing ovation, even from the other team.  The cornerback came over to shake his hand.  In return, our senior captain, a big lineman intentionally false started to move the ball back.  It made Michael’s year.  Heck, it made all of our year.  I couldn’t tell you what the final score was.  It didn’t matter.  What mattered was that Michael caught his pass.

And, all of this was brought back to me when I saw this wonderful story on Facebook.  It is worth the three minutes it takes to watch.  Please do so.  This is such a cool story. It does warm the heart and bring tears to your eyes. Happy tears.

In short, a middle school football team from Michigan came up with an idea.  They told no one, not even the coach.  Just the kids.  The goal was to get as close to the goal line as possible without scoring.  A kid broke free and took a knee at the one yard line.  The coach was furious.  So angry.  The next play, the ball is handed off to one of their teammates who didn’t get to play very much if at all, and this boy scored a touchdown with the help of his teammates.
But what was really cute was the kid who told the story was smiling the entire time.  Because it allowed a disabled teammate to score a touchdown.  It allowed a teammate to actually be a real part of the team.

We don’t hear too many stories like this and if we do, far too infrequently.  I believe that what sets humans apart from all other species is our ability to care, to be compassionate, to empathize with the sorrow and pain someone else feels or is going through.  I believe that deep down, we want to help.  Deep down, we’re called to help.  Deep down, we need to help.

And in so doing, we make a difference.  We make a difference for that person.  One brief moment in that person’s life is changed for the better because we cared to change that life for the better.

But just as importantly, we make a difference in our own lives by caring, by being compassionate, by empathizing.  We make a difference in our own lives by reaching out, by lending a hand.  We make a difference, not only in another’s life, but in our own.  Our own.  In the words of Mother Teresa, “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.”  Maybe we can.  Maybe we should.  Dare to.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!  

To My Readers:
If you like thriller/mystery fiction, here is my Lives Trilogy series with current kindle pricing, and all are free on Kindle Unlimited.

Book #1: Stolen Lives $3.99

Book #2: Shattered Lives $5.99

Prequel to the Lives Trilogy: Taking Lives $.99

Book #3: Splintered Lives - Coming in November!

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe