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Paying Tribute

Last week I took my mom to a fundraiser for a local Women’s organization that helps empower women and girls to become stronger.  One of the components of the fund raiser was that every person who bought tickets had the opportunity to do a tribute to a person who impacted their lives in a positive way.  I had submitted a tribute for my mom because she inspires me with her strength, wisdom and courage.  She has helped shape me into the woman I have become. The organization published all of these tributes in a giant booklet that they gave to each of the attendees. It was a wonderful idea. I spent some of my afternoon reading the tributes and they were extremely touching and inspiring.

It got me thinking about how rarely we truly tell someone how much they mean to us. We rarely pay tribute to the people in our lives who influence, inspire, love, support and even challenge us to be better. We miss these opportunities for a thousand reasons.  Maybe we just don’t think about it, or we are too proud to say the words out loud or we just don’t have time.

Over the past few weeks I have been thinking about a speech I heard when I was in high school (over 20 years ago).  The presenter, David Austin Sky, talked about the definition of true intimacy.  That definition has come to play out in my own life and I have been thinking of David frequently over the past few weeks.  Ironically, he happens to live in my neighborhood and frequently walks past my house. I had seen him a few times in my neighborhood and debated stopping him to tell him the story and to thank him but talked myself out of it because I felt silly and embarrassed.  However, yesterday as I was opening my window shades to start my day I saw David walking past my house and before I could talk myself out of it, I ran out to the curb to catch him (pajamas and all).  I told him the story of how I remembered his speech and the influence it had on me. He was blown away and very appreciative that I had taken the time  to share how he had touched my life.  I didn’t feel silly or embarrassed, I felt empowered and joyful, that I had shared my true feelings and appreciation for someone that inspired me over 20 years ago.

I love those stories, for him he was giving a presentation that he had given 100s of times, to an audience of 100 teenagers and here it is 20 years later and I am sharing how that story stuck with me and shaped me.  It is amazing when we think of how we can touch people without even realizing it.

Today I want you to think about who is someone who has inspired you to be a better person–a friend, a parent, a child, a teacher.  Someone who has touched your life in a meaningful way, it can be over the long haul as my mom has inspired me or a moment in time as David did.  Regardless,  think about this person, and pay them a tribute.  It can be in the comments section of my blog, a letter you write to them, a text message, phone call, e-mail or telling them the next time you see them.  Share your love and appreciation to this person.  Please, share how they changed your life and inspired you to be a better person.  I swear it will help you live happier.

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