People make a difference

The significant majority of the news is about what is not working in the world. What we focus on far too less is what is working well. People make the difference. People can overcome bad structure and even governments.

We see it first hand during disasters when people help those who have lost their homes and loved ones. But, it also happens everyday in the normal course of living.

We see it in helping homeless families climb a ladder out of poverty and into sustainable housing. We see it as someone delivers meals to shut-ins and speaks with them about their day.

We see it when people volunteer to read or tutor kids who are failing behind. Or, as my wife says just give them a soft place to land. This also helps the teacher who may not have the benefit of a teaching assistant.

We see it in the people who greet and speak with customer service people in stores or on the phone. We see it in the many donation drives for coats, school supplies or food. We see it in the countless volunteer coaches, choir leaders, scout leaders and school leaders.

We see it in people who listen to the point of view of others. A Black man said he was able to get KKK members to give up their robes and change their ways by listening first and then asking questions. Our friend Jill has written recently about the loss of civility. We need to follow these examples and practice it more.

A famous person once said the only way to change the world is one person at a time. That has always been the case. So, let’s embrace civility and celebrate what is good about it. And, please remember, kindness is not a weakness.

26 thoughts on “People make a difference

  1. Note to Readers: The people who make the greatest difference everyday are those hard working and devoted mothers and fathers. An even greater shout out goes to single working parents, usually mothers, who have the hardest job in the world.

  2. Dear Keith,

    The timing of this post is perfect. Each and every one of us can make a difference for the better when we interact with others.

    I see people all the time with their heads down, refusing to even see others. But I see a lot of the others. I love sitting down with a book and a cup of tea at a cafe where I can people watch.

    We each make a difference and your post is a great reminder.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Thanks Gronda. I could imagine you being very approachable even with your book. “What are you reading?” is a good conversation starter. Enjoy your time away. Keith

  3. Note to Readers: I have written before about looking for dots to connect. Just this morning, I was reminded that a woman who cut my few hairs had done so before. Her name is Olivia and I said we talked about Olivia Newton John that previous time. She had responded that she was named after her. This is a good example of starting a conversation around a name. Parents sometimes name their children after the stars or songs at that time. Aimee, Allison, Olivia, Adele, Viola, et al are probably tied to a singer or song depending the estimated age. Be wise not to shoot to high on the age, though.

  4. Keith you have highlighted the one hope in miasma of turbulent news; ordinary folk, as Jill does on a Wednesday.
    Well said.

      • Between your good self, Gronda and Jill I am keeping abreast of events in the USA.

      • Roger, many thanks. I learn a great deal from folks like Gronda and Jill. By the way, I was tickled by your reference on your post about every piece of fantasy needing a “nasty.” Keith

      • Mine never last long; there are enough of them in the real world without the fictional versions having a free rein!

      • The fictional ones are less scary. I think that is the point of Guillermo del Toro films. The real monsters look normal.

      • All too true Keith.
        When you look back at photos of Himmler, have you ever seen such a nondescript fellow?
        And consider jovial big friendly looking Stalin?

      • Roger, there is an old line that goes something like “be wary of the quiet guy.” The blustery ones tend to be all talk. The quiet guy could be nasty or he could be heroic. The key is not to underestimate him or her. Keith

      • I agree with you Keith.
        ‘Harry Truman? Really?’ the political establishment thought after FDR’s death.
        And yet….
        Another of the strong Presidents you could do with now.

      • Roger, what is interesting to me is the trend for most CEOs to be studious introverts. I would love to have that, like Truman or Eisenhower, in the White House. Keith

  5. Note to Readers: I was thinking of an old friend who used to call and say “Excuse me for interrupting your day.” It was his way of being polite. Kindness is not a weakness.

  6. Such an uplifting post, Keith! Thank you for the mention! You know how I say that a smile is contagious? If I’m down, and someone in the grocery store or library smiles at me, then I feel more like smiling at the next person I encounter. The same, perhaps, is true of our posts … when we remind people to be kind, to treat each other with humanity, perhaps they pass that on to the next person and so on down the line. I still believe that people are basically good … there’s just so much toxicity about these days that it’s easy to forget to be kinds sometimes.

  7. AMEN Keith!!
    My favorite quote by Margaret Mead hangs in my office as a reminder that there is hope. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

    • Thanks Lisa. I appreciate the confirmation that it was Margaret Mead. This is why the kids advocating for better gun governance is needed and appreciated.

  8. Hi Keith – I’ve been away from WordPress for awhile, but so glad to be back reading your post – especially this wonderfully uplifting one. Civility, kindness, seeking understanding – great reminders of what’s important. Cheers – Susan

    • Susan, welcome back from your hiatus and thanks. I was delighted to see your “beach toes” icon in the likes summary. I was looking through some old emails and came across a couple from our friend Larry Paquette. One was in the December just before he got ill. Take care and don’t stay away too long. Keith

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