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3 Tips to Make A Difference

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3 Tips to Make A Difference

Sending Ripples of Gratitude into the World
James  Van Praagh
James Van Praagh More by this author
Oct 18, 2018 at 03:45 PM

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” - Fred Rogers

My students often ask me, “Why am I here? What is my life’s purpose?” It doesn’t take a psychic, medium, or spiritual guru to answer that question.

I tell them, “Be true to yourself. You were born with unique gifts and talents to share with the world, and you have the power to make a difference in the lives of others.

This idea was reinforced recently when I went to see “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” a documentary about the life of Fred Rogers. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it. This simple film packs enough wisdom into 94 minutes to inspire a dozen spiritual blogs.

Fred Rogers was a minister, puppeteer and musician. Shortly after being ordained, he had the opportunity to reach out to families through television, and he became the host of the long running children’s show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

In the years that it aired, the program impacted the lives of millions of children by providing a safe place where they could learn lessons about compassion, tolerance, and self-acceptance.

He didn’t do anything wild or flashy – he made a difference simply by being his unique, authentic self.

A life lesson from Fred Rogers.

I was especially moved by how he reacted when he won a lifetime achievement award. Instead of focusing on his own accomplishments, Rogers used the few minutes he had on stage to share this powerful message:

“So many people have helped me to come to this night. Some of you are here, some are far away, some are even in Heaven.

All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are?

Those who have cared about you and wanted what was best for you in life...

Did you give yourself 10 seconds to think of someone who helped you out?

Someone who loved you when your life was crumbling?

That person who went the extra mile when you were in need?

That person in your network who gave you your career break?”

After allowing the audience to think about someone who had made a difference, he encouraged them to sincerely thank that person – and to go forward and make a difference in someone else’s life.

As a spiritual teacher, I found it inspiring to see someone turn his few minutes in the spotlight into an exercise that not only engaged everyone in the audience but sent ripples of gratitude into the world.

Three ways to honor someone who helped you on your journey:

  1. Take a moment to remember someone who helped you in the past.
  2. Think about how your life was changed for the better by their support, kindness or guidance.
  3. Send a quiet prayer of gratitude out to the universe for bringing you in contact with this person.

Then take it one step further.

Here are a few ways to create your own positive ripple effect:

Share the lesson you learned with one person or many. Maybe your grandfather took you hiking and instilled a love of nature that lasted a lifetime. Now it’s your turn. Share your passion with others by taking them hiking, or sharing your nature photography or blog.

  • Pay the kindness forward. If someone provided you with food, shelter, or a job when you needed one, take every opportunity to help others less fortunate than you. You don’t have to be rich to make a difference. Every little bit helps – so donate your time, money or skills to make someone else’s life better.
  • Smile and brighten someone’s day. You don’t need a lot of money or special talents. Sometimes all it takes is a kind word or a hug to make someone feel that they’re not alone, and that somebody cares.

Next time you’re wondering why you were put on this earth and wishing you could do something amazing to make your mark, just remember that you everything you need within you to make a difference in the lives of others.

As Mr. Rogers ( and I ) would tell you’re enough and you are special  – just the way you are.

About Author
James  Van Praagh
James Van Praagh Internationally renowned #1 New York Times bestselling author of Talking to Heaven, Reaching to Heaven, Healing Grief, Heaven and Earth, Looking Beyond, M Continue reading