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Last night I went for a walk around campus and visited my ‘spot’ – the place where I can be alone and process my thoughts. As I sat there, I thought about what it actually means to make a difference in someone’s life. In my opinion, there are three different ways of making a difference.
There is intentionally making a difference, unintentionally making a difference, and randomly making a difference.
Intentionally making a difference is probably the most common. This is also the one that most likely makes you feel the best, simply because you set out with good intentions and followed through with them.
However, though actively seeking ways to help people is a good thing, sometimes it can go too far if you become consumed by a sense of ‘need’ or obligation to always be there to have a positive impact on someone or something. So it is important to find a balance.
Then there is unintentionally making a difference. This is the one that is the hardest because it is a matter of simply living your life, being who you are, and not knowing whether you have or have not made an impact.
In some ways you could say that this one comes without any ‘direct’ reward because you don’t know when you have ‘achieved’ it or not.
All you can do is strive to be a ‘good’ person and hope that through that you can have a positive impact.
Finally, there is ‘randomly’ making a difference. This is the craziest one. It is when you make a difference in someone’s life, but you don’t find out about it until months or even years later.
I am sure you can think back in your life and think of a time when someone made a difference in your life and yet they probably don’t even realize it.
I believe that regardless of whether we admit it or not, making a difference is something that we all hope to do.
There is something about making a difference in someone else’s life that lifts up your own spirits – just knowing that you have helped someone else feel a little bit better can brighten up your day.
This post is a little bit more reflective as I am still working through this all in my own head. So I leave you with this question: what does ‘making a difference’ mean to you? And how can you be intentional about doing this?
Christian struggled through and recovered from depression. He likes to write so others can hear his story and know there is hope. His goal is that through sharing, people will be able to see their story within his own.
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