A story about a sand castle recently made a huge impact on me. It brought to fore-front my belief that we choose our responses to stimuli….and sometimes those choices have the opportunity to make life-long impacts.
One moment in time is all it takes…a split second decision…quickly, before you know it…something happens that will never be forgotten.
Often those moments in time that we remember are hurtful, embarrassing or negative memories. I’m talking about the positive ones…those nano-seconds when we learned as little kids what it feels like to be loved and cared for.
When I was small, my Mom would rock four children every evening, all on her lap at once, and tell us a different story about a particular painting in our living room. It was a painting of a ship at harbor, and every single one of us, as adults, love to travel. I have no doubt that as a very young child, the warmth of being snuggled together with Mom every evening, listening to her stories, had a huge impact on my attitudes, my view of Life, as an adult.
When I was a freshman in high school I was given the opportunity to attend Honors English. I had no other Honors classes, so it was highly unusual that I was able to take Honors English. The teacher went to bat for me…she believed I had the ability to do well…and I did. Her defense of me taking her class was a brief exchange with the Principal. That brief moment in time, changed my life. I gained confidence and felt a pride I hadn’t known before.
We don’t know how the brief exchange with the boy building a sand castle affected his life… We do know it affected the author. Listen to the podcast “Thoughts about Moments in Time” for the story.
Each of us carries “life lesson memories” with us … things that taught us as little children how the world works, according to the adults who influenced us. I encourage you to file through your memory bank and select one or two positive, caring, loving memories. Use those to determine how you choose to respond to others, adults and kids.
We never know how our words or actions will impact another, especially a child. Make sure your impacts are caring, loving, positive. Even when we witness anger, choose to respond with kindness. Your response could be remembered for a lifetime. Be sure the memory is of kindness and caring.