Sunday, February 14, 2010

Can You Spare A Moment in Time?

I think we’ve all received that email at one time or another where a young boy who has been teased and tormented at school finally clears out his locker and plans to go home and kill himself, but on the way he drops his books and someone stops to help him pick them up, someone who becomes a friend, and in that moment changes his plans and his life. (If you haven't read it yet, here's one link, and then another, kindly supplied by the hosts of Zen Moments, who stumbled across this post--Thank You!) There are others, such as the story of a cab driver who picked up an elderly woman on her way to a hospice and ended up driving her around town for hours without charging her so that she could relive her favorite memories one last time. Then there are the Christmas stories about single mothers with no money to buy presents for their children, and yet many presents arrive.

Last but not least is the story of Teddy Stoddard, which has inspired many, but according to Snopes, is a fictional story of a young boy who taught his teacher a life lesson she will never forget.

The themes that all these stories have running through them are kindness and compassion, something we could all use a little more of in our lives. Whether they are true or not, they are meant to make us stop for a moment and think about the things we say and do—or don’t say and do--and realize the possible impact we can have on the people around us, from our closest family members to the clerks and cashiers we meet in passing in the drive-throughs, checkout lines, and toll booths of our lives.

I’ve had several moments in my life that either gave me hope, courage, or the willpower and determination to continue. One that stands out in my mind is rather gross, but unforgettable. I was pregnant with my only child, a high risk pregnancy, and I had started bleeding, and was terrified I would lose the baby. I called a friend about something else and in the course of the conversation, broke down with my fear. Quite nonchalantly, she said to me, “Oh, you’d be surprised at how much you can bleed and still keep the baby.” She then went on to tell me of her experience, which had been much worse than mine was.

Still, I held onto her words like a lifeline until I delivered a healthy baby boy.

I’ve since gone back and thanked the woman for getting me through that terrifying time, and she doesn’t even remember our conversation. It was just an off the cuff remark she made to reassure me and she didn’t give it a second thought.

Which just goes to show that you never know how your words or actions will affect the lives of others.

I’ve had people come back to me, and tell me things that I said to them that gave them new hope and determination for a situation they were facing. Things I don’t remember saying, but made all the difference in the world to them…and for that I am glad.

Any moment can be one that you or someone you’ve encountered remembers for a lifetime, a little jewel in the sandstorm of life, for you to take out and remember and appreciate when the going gets tough. Most of those moments are rooted in random acts of kindness. I’m not saying you need to join the World Kindness Movement, or any other kindness organization, but simply encouraging you to take time in your day to smile at someone who might not receive a smile otherwise, open doors for men and women alike, especially the elderly and mothers with young children, say please and thank you to clerks and other attendants, or stop and listen, really listen, to a child.

We all want to matter to someone, we all want to count. We all want to be seen and heard in ways large and small. All it takes to acknowledge that special person in your life, a friend, acquaintance, or even a complete stranger, is a moment of your time.

There is no greater gift on this day we celebrate love and romance, or any day, than You.

As a special Valentine’s Treat, leave a comment with a life-changing moment for you here for a chance to win an autographed copy of Thin Ice and an even bigger prize--a 5-ARC (advanced reading copy) package from the Classic Romance Revival authors who are participating in today’s Moment in Time Blog Carnival. The winner will be drawn from visitors commenting on the most blogs.

To qualify for the grand prize, you need to register for the contest. Please visit the Classic Romance Revival blog to find details of all the participating blogs and to register.


Gossip Cowgirl said...

Oh, what a poignant post! Such a beautiful reminder on Valentine's Day! Thanks for writing this.

LuAnn said...

I love your post! It's amazing how one thing can make such a difference in life. For me, it was the birth of my youngest son. He came by emergency c-section and we are both lucky to be alive today. In fact, the surgeon said it was the most difficult surgery he ever performed. Today, my son is almost 26 (he will be next month) and has two beautiful boys of his own, ages 6 and 11 months!

Mary Ricksen said...

What a lovely post! I loved Thin Ice, what a phenomenal story!
Great stuff sweetie!

Unknown said...

LIANA--a beautiful, thoughtful post. We usually don't know what we've done to help someone else, like your friend. And I had to stop and think of times others have been extraordinarily kind to me.Celia

booklover0226 said...

My heart is filled with emotion after reading your post.

Thank you.
Tracey D

Jennifer Mathis said...

love this post! your heart is in the right place. a few small words can change the world

------jennifer mathis

Unknown said...

WOW! What an emotional post this is! Loved it!

Miriam Newman said...

This was a wonderful post and a lovely collection of great thoughts. It only takes a moment to help someone through this scary thing called life.

LK Hunsaker said...

Gorgeous post, Liana, and I agree wholeheartedly. I had a stranger provide one of those moments when I was a teen and used it in one of my books because it meant that much.

Btw, don't enter me since I have Thin Ice already! One of the best I've read recently.

Cherry said...

I was rather short with my boyfriend this morning and I've been feeling rather guilty all day, and now I read this... ouch!!

Re-posted your contest at:

Cherry Mischievous
mischivusfairy-warrior [at] yahoo [dot] com

Lexie said...

I don't make friends easily. If I'm not too shy, I'm too sarcastic or bookish. The first day of my old job, we had a team meeting and then broke up to 'clean' the bakery. Me and another girl got stuck with dishes somehow. Here we are, we dont' remember each other's names at all, in front of a sink the size of a BATHTUB, trying to figure out how to turn it on.

Finally she says "Too bad Kaylee isn't here she'd rig it to run on spit and gum." I was so shocked that I didn't respond. we finally figured out how to turn it on, cleaned and then didn't see each other again for months (she worked days, I worked nights).

We get a shift together and I go 'You're the firefly fan!'. She didn't remember us doing the dishes or saying that remark at all but from there we learned we had a lot in common. We've been really close friends now for 5 years and she helped me leave my bubble and make other really good friends as well.

EVA SB said...

It is amazing how sometimes just a stranger smiling or saying something polite can totally change your day.

susan said...

What a great story. In 1984 at the age of 38 I suffered a stroke and was in a coma for days. I came out of it quite well considering the doctors told my hubby I was not going to be okay when and if I came out of the coma. They had prepared him to face me as a "vegetable" and I would not be able to walk or do anything for myself ever again due to the length of time I was in this coma. I woke up and was fine except I could not talk to make any sense. The brain area to make sentences was affected. I am now telling my story by word of mouth and you would never know I had anything wrong. Friends..relatives and GOD saw me thru that terrible ordeal and I know how friends can be a big help. Hope to be entered in your contest and I did register. susan Leech

Kathleen O said...

I think it never hurts to have a reminder to do an act of kindness for someone else.. Just this week, I was walking home with a couple of bags of groceries, plus my purse hanging off my shoulder. I was almost home, just turned the corner from my path through the park, when I saw two young men, maybe in there twenties or early thirties, nicley dressed, came up to me to ask if they could help me with my bags.. Now I did have a moments of thought 'do I trust these young men'. But I knew I could and as they got nearer to me, I noticed they had on name tags and were from the church up the street. I thanked them kindly and said I just had few houses to go up the street and was fine. They asked if there was anything else they could help me with. I again thanked them kindly as said not at this time.. There are nice people out in the world and I was grateful that two such young men exsisted.. I am sure many others took them up on there offer of help.

SJR said...

Hi Liana,
I see this post as a timely reminder to pay attention to the little miracles in life. Except for when catastrophes happen, we get bombarded with ‘bad’ news, e.g. TV News ~ “if it bleeds it leads”. I often wonder why the ‘good’ things people do everyday doesn’t get more press. For me, it’s the little things in life that are the most important.
In my daily life, I try to be conscious of other people and to treat them courteously. [except when I’m ‘loaded for bear’, LOL, then watch out!]. If I see something about someone [stranger or friend] I like, I tell him or her. Getting a smile from someone is a gift I can appreciate. ‘Random acts of kindness’, I’ve found, benefit both the giver and the receiver, even when a person is not aware of it.
Thanks for the kindness of sharing this blog with us.
Sara J. ~ : - ]
PS. My niece is named Liana Lyn!

Anonymous said...

What wonderful words to remind us of how a little kindness and compassion - a kind word or act - can make a big difference in someone's life and sometimes even our own.

aarbaugh said...

Wow, had to grab the tissues for this one. You've given me some wonderful ideas. I'll have to check back later to read more.

Redameter said...

Sometimes we don't realize when we send out a kindness, but usually God has a way of showing us the goodness of it. We can easily forget words we use to encourage, but others won't. And it's a very nice reminder.
God Bless