Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A hand up.

One of the most important things we do in our lives is to give as many others a 'hand up' as we can. This simple act goes completely unnoticed by anyone else except you and them. Yet it's being applauded by maybe more than you realize. If you believe as I do that there forces at work in this world that we are not supposed to understand, just accept, then maybe your kindness is noticed after all. Maybe when/if you stand in judgement those small acts of kindness will be more precious than you ever imagined. Perhaps everything else you have done will pale in comparison.

We adult athletes and marathoners have a unique opportunity to help our fellow athletes get through their races. Everyone who has ever gone the 13.1 mile half, the 26.2 mile full or the awesome 39.3 Goofy, will come away with memories of people who either helped them or they helped. You might not be able to remember much clearly a few years later, but I can surely guarantee that you will remember those that you encouraged and those that encouraged you.

You never know when your kind words of encouragement may be all someone needs to turn their life around. To help them realize they do have worth, to show them that there is good in the world after all. It's often those little things in life that make the most difference, we just never know. There is much that is wrong in our world but you have to opportunity to be one of the things right.

The beauty of encouragement is that it costs nothing but a few moments of your time and a few beats of your heart. Going out of your way to help someone might actually be the shortest path to being who you would really like to be. Yesterday I helped a man in a wheel chair get over a curb so he could get into the Mall. I said "Brother I know you could do this on your own but I would be honored to give you a hand". He was a little older than me and wearing a cap with the patch for the 82nd AirBorne on it. I figured he had earned a hand now and then. We shook hands and made eye contact, both of us enriched by the moment.

Fellow athletes and fellow citizens of the world, be part of what's good and right about life, not part of what's ugly and wrong.

Thanks for reading.

Rambling Panda

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