Make a difference

Jennifer Bonn
Jen Bonn

Life is not always easy but each one of us has a choice about how we live the life that we have been given. We can find joy in what we do or we can see life as a burden. We can do our part to contribute or we can live as if we have been defeated. Everyone has something in their lives that they struggle with. Even the friend who seems perfect has an issue or two that is a challenge in some way. With all the needs around us, there are countless ways that one person can make a difference in others and in the community. Imagine if you knew that simple acts that you performed for someone or a few kind words that you offered could radically help that person. Imagine that these were all very simple things that you could do and they would not cost you anything or require much effort on your part. If you knew what an impact you could have on someone without even inconveniencing yourself, wouldn’t you do it? Add to this the fact that by helping others you can improve your own situation. It just seems like a win-win situation.

One of the easiest ways that you can make a difference in someone’s life is just to listen. Most people need to tell someone about what they are struggling with. Having to hold it in without confiding in someone becomes a burden. When you can tell someone about your problems it is as if you have released them from a burden. Sometimes people just have to talk about something to work the issue out.

You can improve your listening skills by practicing something called empathetic listening. When someone tells you something, repeat what you have been told in a question. An example would be if someone said “Since my husband has died, I feel lonely.” You respond, “So since your husband has died, you are lonely?” This will encourage the person to add to the first statement. Letting someone voice their feelings is the simplest but often the most important thing that you can do for someone.

Never underestimate how powerful simple words can be. You may not think twice about a small compliment but that comment could make a huge difference. Many people have horrible self-esteem; they are used to being invisible. When someone gives a compliment or smiles at someone, it shows the person that they are worthy of a person’s attention.

When you are trying to be your best, you can inspire others and that inspiration could change a life. Be happy, laugh often, and your joy will be contagious. Sing positive songs, speak positive thoughts and you will lift up those around you. Count your blessings and others will realize that they need to focus on what is right in life not always on what is wrong.

Offer encouragement. Everyone wants to feel that there is someone who believes in them, that someone will be a cheerleader for them.

Helping others can cause self-improvement. Seeing other people struggling makes you realize how blessed your own life is. Knowing that you are helping someone lifts your own spirits. The quickest way to forget your own problem is to try to help someone solve their issues.

Do what you can to help one person at a time and watch the gradual changes as reaching out becomes a domino effect and you feel that you have made a difference.

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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA

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