Love and Joy and Light

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Today I sit her reminiscing of the places I have been and of the people I have met. Though I am still young, I have come in contact with an amazing array of different people. From villagers in Tanzania to porteños in Buenos Aires to my people in Franklin County, PA and so many people in between. Beautiful people from so many different walks of life that have deeply impacted who I have become.

As I thought of the friends that have come and gone, I thought too of the impact they had on my life. The people that we spend time with, and even just those that we know for a short time impact us more, than perhaps we may know, and we do the same to them.

I was just thinking of the people I came in contact with this past week at work —working in DC I daily am in contact with people working in government, people who are living on the streets, diplomats from foreign countries and everyone in between. It is amazing—and humbling all at once. This past week alone I can think of people from Bangladesh, Thailand, Nigeria, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Venezuela, just to name a few.

I cannot help but wonder about the impact that I have on these people- as a nurse, many take the words I say seriously, they probably also take the way I am loving and compassionate – or not- very seriously, too.

It is a great responsibility for all of us to hold other peoples hearts in our hands. We have the ability to heal or to hurt with our words and actions. We have the ability to call others to life or to bring them down, sometimes without even knowing or trying we can impact people so greatly. Sometimes just holding a door, speaks volumes, or letting someone else go on the elevator before you can make a difference. Sometimes it is really taking the time to sit down and listen to the struggles that others are going through, and sometimes it us just us, being ourselves, giving of our own hearts and sharing our own personal stories that can make an impact. Even just the way we smile can bring life. I know without a shadow of a doubt that kindness speaks volumes. I see it so clearly in my everyday life.

The other week I saw a lady asking for food outside of Aldi. To be totally honest and quite vulnerable here, those situations always make me feel a bit uncomfortable, out of my own judgement, I say it is because I don’t know her story or her heart. I figure though, it is better to give food to someone that didn’t need it, than to not give to someone who really does. I gave her food that day, but as I drove away I felt such sadness. I gave her food, but I did not give her humanity. I handed what I  giving to her and hurried away before I could think about it any more. My good deed for the day, but I gave it to her without acknowledging her humanity, without being aware of her as a person. Perhaps, though, what she needed more than a loaf of bread was for someone to look her in the eyes and show her love. I think I failed to give her that on that day. I failed to share what is most important, myself, my heart, and it made me wonder how often I do that in the everyday. I have been thinking of her every since. I hope she will forgive me for not sharing my heart.

All of these people I have met in my life, those I have known well or known for just a short time. I wonder what my impact was on them. Did I open my heart, give them life, acknowledge their humanity, and share of myself or did I merely glance at them in passing, just moving on to the next thing. It is so humbling, this thing called life, that we can impact others so deeply, that our words, our actions, or even just our smiles carry such weight. As I think about all of the people I have met in my life, I think about my impact. I hope more than anything when they think of me they think of love, and joy, and of light. That is what I want to leave as my legacy. My collection of memories—-Monica Chacha full of love, overflowing with joy, a light to the world. Love and Joy and Light.

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