Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Biggest Surprise

(Photo Credit: Michael Manning)
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless"
-Mother Teresa
What is the biggest surprise to you on any given day? One of life's biggest surprises that never fails to amaze me is to hear someone tell me that I matter to them, and that I've made a positive difference in their life. Wow! I strongly suspect that most of you have experienced  what a surprise this is. If it were to happen only once in a lifetime, that itself, would be a gift! I say this because such a compliment is almost always unexpected, and it has the magnificent quality of staying with us to ponder.
 
It's so easy for each of us to lose sight of this deceptively simple joy because we're human, and we live in a busy world. The distractions and nonsense of technological clutter that discourages human interaction on any given day is immense. I should know. I've blogged about this topic extensively, and in the past, I've mentioned it as a keynote speaker--one of the many advantages of being in the communications field. It is nothing less than mind blowing what we miss out on in a 24-hour period. But just imagine how powerful and positive it is when someone says, "You know something, you've inspired me". It is one of the greatest validations of our humanity that I know of! When I think of the long list of people in my own life who have made a difference, I am surprisingly amused at the number of people I'd like to be able to locate to say, "You really made a difference in my life!" This statement would necessarily be followed with a citation to a unique event--without fail in each instance.  
 
In closing, I have a friend who once sat next to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, years ago, on an international flight. Try to imagine that unhurried conversation! Remember that no matter what your circumstances may be, you have value, and you matter to someone in this world. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Have a great week!   
 



 


27 comments:

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

That is a great compliment.

Wow, Mother Teresa huh?

P M Prescott said...

Great advice, Michael.

Michael Manning said...

Lisa: It truly is, and my wish for you is to receive a compliment like this too! Yes, it was actually Mother Teresa of Calcutta. :)

Michael Manning said...

P M: Thank you!

Stephen Hayes said...

Thanks for the upbeat post. In fact, you inspire me all the time.

Michael Manning said...

Stephen: Much appreciated and welcome back!

TexWisGirl said...

oh, my... sitting next to mother teresa. i'd just want to soak up her aura. :)

i try hard to tell folks they matter to me. often, it is just in an email, or a note, or quick add-on at the end of a rare phone call, but... i think you have to say it.

Michael Manning said...

Theresa: I agree with you. That's the best way to experience it!

Nancy said...

Everyone we interact with has some impact on our lives, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. Great post Michael. Thanks for stopping by. xo

Hilary said...

Lovely post, Michael. And a good reminder for us to be more conscious of letting people know that they inspire. It's kind of easy to do that in the blogging world.. it's much of what comments are about. We tend to be less generous in our face to face contacts, sometimes. I appreciate your sweet, gentle reminder. Thank you.

Michael Manning said...

Thanks, Nancy!

Michael Manning said...

Hilary: Thanks for your visit. I agree with you. The face to face encouragement we receive is powerful, and I can even tell you, by year, when I've received an unexpected surprise similar to what I've written about here. :)

Catherine said...

Beautiful thoughts Michael!
Happy weekend!
xo Catherine

Michael Manning said...

Catherine: Very encouraging! Happy weekend to you also!! ;)

Sandy Carlson said...

You remind me to tell people they matter.

You matter!

Michael Manning said...

Sandy: You matter too! Thank you for this kind note and for stopping by!! ;)

Martini said...

I'm sure if I sat next to some icon I would have a very hard time believing it was actually that person!

Michael Manning said...

Hi Martini: There's no mistaking Mother Teresa. ;)

joeh said...

Great post, congrats on your POTW

Michael Manning said...

Thanks, Joeh, for altering me to this unexpected surprise! Very nice!

TexWisGirl said...

came back to say congrats on your POTW!

Michael Manning said...

Thank you, Theresa. It was a very nice surprise! :)

Margie said...

Hope you are doing well, Michael.
Was thinking of you so decided to stop by and say 'hi;
Loved this post, thank you for being you ....

Michael Manning said...

Thank you, Margie, for your kind note. I've been busy and away, but all is well. See you soon!

Anita Johnson said...

Great post. As much as I would have loved to sit next to Mother Theresa, I have also been inspired by many ordinary people who do small and significant things for others many many times.

Alisa Hope Wagner said...

Your writings and thoughts have definitely blessed me! I pray I can value every human life and see the beauty in each person like you do! Thanks, Michael!

Michael Manning said...

Alisa: That's quite a nice compliment. Thank you! I hope somehow that I live up to that.