A couple of years ago I e-mailed a now well known author just to say how much I enjoyed his debut book (you'd be surprised just how much they appreciate the feedback, and most reply...) and we struck up quite a correspondence due to something we had in common, all be it he had gone on to achieve far more than I...
...as he out ranked me by a quite considerable margin I was quite humbled by his generous demeanor, especially when he said that it was more important to consider the effect we have on other people's
lives through the way we live our own; think of all the seemingly ordinary things we have done that can actually have far reaching consequences for other people, and the people around them.
Oddly enough, it was easy for me to put his advice into perspective; only a couple of days before I had taken an escalator where I would normally use the stairs. There was a very elderly couple two steps down in front of me as I joined the escalator, and as we started down the woman stumbled and started to fall; without thinking I automatically reached forward, grabbed the collar of her coat and stood her back up. There was no-one in front of the couple so, had she fallen, she would have tumbled to the bottom of the escalator with a probably fatal outcome...
...both thanked me profusely but I just carried on with my day and thought no more of it until the conversation above occurred.
If I were to put it into perspective, if I did nothing else in my life I at least saved one life that day; an act that would have reverberated like ripples in a pond had I not been there at that moment in time.
On another occasion I was walking through a large supermarket when I noticed a mother leave her trolley, with a baby and a toddler in the seats, at the end of an aisle whilst she went perhaps five feet away to pick up an item. What she
hadn't noticed was the display at the end of the aisle was within arms reach of her toddler, and on the display was a colourful bottle of domestic toilet cleaner; without a top; it caught the toddlers eye, she reached out her hands, grabbed the bottle and had it almost to her mouth when I whipped it out of her hands and placed it out of reach somewhere safe!
Things is, all this happened in the blink of an eye (no-one even noticed what I'd just done!) and when the mother turned round all she saw was her toddler staring wide eyed at me as I put the bottle out of harms way; she gave me daggers, not knowing what had just happened, and I simply carried on my way as it was easier than trying to explain to a suspicious mother in a busy supermarket that I had probably just saved her child's life!
I recount these here now not
to make out what a good bloke I am but just to illustrate what a difference each of us sometimes makes just by being here, rather than by what we achieve by way of personal gain...
...I'm pretty sure most people on here would be able to recount instances of their own that they have not thought about since until this very moment, but which had far more import to the others involved