Be Yourself and You Might Save Someone’s Life: A True Story
A few weeks ago after an Unleash Your Best-of-Self Traits Workshop, two of the participants shared this story with me. I keep thinking about it, specifically how the ordinary can become exceptional.
Susan and Beth had worked together 12 years ago. Susan was hired as a supervisor at social service organization and Beth was a current employee at the organization.
With the exception of Beth, the other staff resented Susan because she was an outsider “there tell them what to do.” Beth, instead of getting swept up in the group grumble, acted on her natural friendly instincts and reached out to Susan. As a result they worked together well and got along.
One day they were talking about skin care and Beth recommended a dermatologist to Susan. Susan later went to the doctor to have her spider veins looked at. Within a year Susan and Beth each moved on to other positions and they lost touch.
The next year at Susan’s annual dermatology appointment stage-4 skin cancer was discovered. “I never would have gone to a dermatologist in the first place if Beth hadn’t suggested it. And if I had not done that I don’t think a year later I would have gotten treatment. Now I am just fine. I’ve been looking for Beth for the past 11 years to say thank you.”
“Now”, Beth said, “I can see how my social intelligence and kindness, me just being friendly and wanting people to feel welcome, is really valuable. I knew it was nice to be like this, but I never thought something like this could happen.”
Honestly it was delightful to hear them talking with such joy and energy. Almost talking over each other in their excitement to tell me their story. It was beautiful.
And I was honored they wanted to share it with me.
Actually I whelped up a little and was glad that allergy season meant that I had a tissue handy.
What you may take for granted as just the way you are can have a profound impact on the people around you.
So today if you are true to who you are, you might send out a ripple of goodness that has an exponential impact. And I hope you do.