Social class holds no bearing. I cheer for the less fortunate. I’d rather encourage than cast aspersions.
I believe my tendency to root for society’s “forgotten” influenced my decision to enter a helping profession many years ago. Seeing the invisible without regard to who they were, where they’d come from, or where others predicted they were headed didn’t faze me.
Being older and wiser now, of course, I realize there are situations that are horrible. Some circumstances may never change. There are people who are evil and morally corrupt.
Today, I’m talking more about those who lack empathy. Those who deliberately ignore the wounded rather than help shoulder the burden.
You may remember the movie Pursuit of Happyness (the film’s spelling) with Will Smith. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend it.
Based on the true story of Chris Gardner, a salesman who suffers countless hard knocks in his quest to get ahead, it’s a movie that certainly makes you cheer for the underdog.
There’s a particularly poignant scene where Chris and his son resort to spending the night on a dirty, dingy restroom floor because they’ve run out of money and have nowhere else to go.
Will Smith is magnificent as he portrays Chris Gardner’s range of emotions without saying a word. In an instant, the depth of emotion is brilliantly captured as the camera pans to Smith’s face.
But still…determination to do whatever it takes to care for his child and eventually make a better life.
In the movie (and during those early years of the real Chris Gardner’s life) there are tremendous obstacles that Gardner must overcome. There are people who turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to his plight, and finally, blessedly, some who helped.
In my life, I’ve resolved to do whatever I can to make a difference.
I may be just one.
I might lack endurance.
My strength may ebb.
I may falter.
I might even fail.
People may laugh.
But I will try.
- Offer a smile
- Pay it forward
- Be kind
- Extend courtesy
And at the end of the day, I’ll go to bed knowing I wasn’t perfect, but maybe—just maybe—I changed someone’s life.
It might only be a small thing, but small things help in big ways.
How will you change someone’s life?
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