Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1610854-Make-a-Difference
by Kenzie
Rated: E · Editorial · Inspirational · #1610854
One more smile might be all it takes to turn a person's world around for the good.
Make a Difference

by Marilyn Mackenzie

Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." She was right. But she neglected to say that individuals can also make changes in the world around them.

In the Cincinnati Enquirer on Sunday, on the front page of the Local News section, there was a short article reminding us about the difference one person can make. The Enquirer often puts a short article in that location and calls it "Good Neighbor".

Sunday's focus was on a man named Darryl Lambert, owner of Darryl's Barber shop in Corryville. Mr. Lambert encourages teens in the neighborhood to stay in school. He asks them, "How are you doing?" and really cares about the answer.

This man also provides an Xbox, Playstation and chess set for students in the area. Having them stop in to chat and to play games lets them know that someone does care.

He asked one struggling teen to stop in after school each day. Years later, that man called Darryl to let him know that having a place to go where he could push the bad things of his life out helped motivate him and helped him succeed.

The barber asked another teen for an invitation to her graduation. And that's all it took to keep her motivated enough to stay in school.

There is a simple message in these words. Each of us are struggling with our own problems, but often a kind word for some neighborhood kid is all that is required of us.

Showing genuine interest in others can make a positive impact in their lives. And that applies to adults as well as children.

If you're in a position that deals with the public, you'll come across rude and angry people, probably more today because of the financial situation and other problems with which they deal. Rather than paying back unkind words with equally unkind words of your own (something that stores and businesses seem to neglect teaching these days), wouldn't it make more sense to comment, "Having a bad day?" Sometimes all an individual needs is to know that someone acknowledges his/her pain or frustration.

Rather than glaring at the mom who is holding up your shopping progress as she struggles with one child in the shopping cart and another in her arms, juggles her purse and tries to get her purchases onto the counter, why not ask, "May I offer some help?"

I remember in an early Dr. Phil show, he reminded us that we are writing on the slates of others each and every day. As we greet the bank teller, we can show kindness or anger, and either way, we have touched her life and have written on her life's slate. When we smile or frown at someone we pass, we're etching that smile or frown onto the life slate of that person. Often the effect we have on others is not known to us, but in the fragile world in which we live, one more smile might be all it takes to turn a person's world around for the good.

Proverbs 16:24 says, "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

Proverbs 12:25 says, "An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up."

And Proverbs 11:25 says, "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."

Shouldn't we be mindful about how we can make positive and negative impacts and impressions on everyone around us, even strangers whom we have merely passed as we go about our own (busy) daily lives?


The link to the Cincinnati Enquirer story only works if you've paid for archive information. But here is the web site of the Darryl's Barber Shop, the barber mentioned above.


© Copyright 2009 Kenzie (kenzie at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1610854-Make-a-Difference