I bruise like day old fruit. Seriously. I can barely brush against something and walk away with a black and blue souvenir. That being said, it’s very common for me to discover a nasty bruise on my body and have absolutely NO IDEA how I got it. So weird. How can something leave me with a physical mark yet no memory of the even that caused it?
Sometimes, I wake up in a funk. Like the dark bruise on my leg, I’m unsure how it has happened. What exactly has brought me to this yucky disposition and grumpy mindset? It actually doesn’t even really matter. What matters most is what comes next. How will I continue? Will I let a bad mood create a bad day? Should I share my sour attitude or attempt to shake it off while my coffee works it’s magic? It’s all up to me.
I suppose, in life, this actually happens quite a bit. A conversation, movie, activity or article can be experienced without much thought. But, it can move us, change us, mold us into a certain mindset or push us into a different direction. I truly feel like the combination of a million little things help to form us into the person that we present to the world more than one big event. Could you really pinpoint one or maybe two single events in your life that made you who you are today?
Milestones like establishing religious foundation, passing each grade in school and celebrating holidays with families take up a lot of space in our memory banks. They certainly have a lot to do with character formation as well. But it’s the daily interaction with others, little decisions we make like telling the truth or lying, helping or walking past a problem, teasing someone, or standing up for a friend that is bullied – that determine who we really are. Character and courage and integrity are established when all of the forgettable things are added up. The small acts of kindness that we think go unnoticed are building us into generous friends and thoughtful neighbors. Yet, most of us find it much easier to focus on our faults than on our positive traits.
In the end, I’m finding that events don’t have to be earth shattering or jaw dropping to make a difference. Daily events, evening rituals and common place scenarios shape us without our knowledge. You, my friend, are making a difference everyday – for the benefit or additional stress of others. It’s up to us to decide how we are affecting our world. Small moments in life can surely make a big difference, even if you are unaware of the changes created by your actions. Now, if I could only figure out how I got this bruise on my arm ……