Tom here. This is Thank You For Making a Difference.com
Aging brings retirement but not often the thought or action that focuses on making a difference. For most, it is a time to start receiving social security and other retirement income. A time to slow the pace, to start receiving something for all the years one have contributed to family, friends, and society.
Who needs to think about others when many people of retirement age wonder how many days before their photo will appear in the local Album of Life, also commonly known as the “Obits”.
Can people in their nineties make a difference?
Take Murel Johnson, for instance. In 2016, when she was 93, she was recognized as an “Unsung Hero” for the 19,000 meals she delivered per year as part of her 15 years of volunteering with Meals On Wheels and the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.
She started volunteering for meals on wheels when she was about 77. No mandatory retirement here!
Want to be inspired? You can also watch a video made by the Oregonian newspaper where they go on a ride along with her. As she delivers her meals, my guess is she doesn’t focus on what other people her age are, or , are not doing. She seems too busy working hard, bringing meals to those in need, and making a difference with her conversation and interaction.
Think about the impact Murel on those she visits. The way they look forward to her coming. For the meal she brings, the friend she becomes, and the bright spot of the day she is. With a good meal and words of encouragement, imagine how those she visits are more likely to be encouraging to those they come in contact with during their day.
If 77, or even 93 is not too old to make a difference, then is there an age that is too young to make a difference?
Did you hear about the three year old that was taught to call 911 because her mother had narcolepsy? The 911 call is available on youtube. It turns out Dorothy Craig also called 911 when she was just one year old. Don’t believe you heard that right? You did! The story on KHOU Channel 11 said just that.
Let’s look at this a couple of ways. Dorothy’s mom, Miranda taught her how to call 911. Sounds like a responsible parent.
What if Miranda never taught Dorothy how to call 911? There might have been a little girl being raised without a mom. No mom to attend school functions. No mom to ask advise of. No mom to look after her. Then the thought occurs to me, how would Dorothy feel about herself if, due to no fault of her own, she was there as a young child and she was never taught how to call 911. Imagine the undeserved guilt she may have grown up with wondering if her mom died because she didn’t know what to do.
Dorothy was prepared and did call 911. I can only imagine the sense of thankfulness, pride, and even sense of self worth she will have growing up knowing that she saved someones life. And that someone was her mom.
Think you are too old to make a difference? Are you older than ninety three?
Think you are too young to make a difference?
Are you younger than three? Or younger than one year old?
You may not save a life, or help provide thousands of meals to those who need them, but whether you realize it or not, you are making a difference. It may be a kind word, a thoughtful act, a moment of encouragement to another. It may be something you did that you think no one will ever know about.
To Murel , Dorothy and her mom Miranda, and to you, I say “Thank you for making a difference”.