William Wordsworth once wrote “the best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.” We all hope to make a difference. We hope that we will someday perform a grand act that will forever alter someone else’s life in a positive way, but it does not always take a grand gesture to impact someone’s life. It is the everyday moments of smiling, saying hello, listening to someone speak, and being a compassionate person that make a difference. While all of our moments of kindness may not be able to be pinpointed and may not always be remembered, they alter someone’s mood; they change a person’s day or perception of the world around them and make a difference even if it goes unnoticed at the moment.
I stumbled upon an episode of One Tree Hill titled “Songs to Love and Die By” which premiered during season 4 of the show. The episode was based in a dream, which occurred when one of the characters experienced heart failure and was met by the ghost of a deceased love one. The character didn’t think he mattered, he was unaware he made such a tremendous impact on those around him, until he was shown the lives of his friends and family had he made selfish choices in life rather than his random acts of kindness. The little acts of kindness he put forth into the world altered and shaped the lives of all those around him, even if it wasn’t entirely obvious at the time said acts were performed.
It is the little acts of selflessness that make a difference. Sometimes it takes a ghost from our past to afford us the opportunity to realize we have made a difference. We have positively impacted the life of those around us through what William Wordsworth described as “nameless unremembered acts of kindness.” While all of our selfless choices may not be remembered, the feelings of compassion and understanding long outlive the memory of our words or gestures. We can create a change in the world by listening to someone else and letting them know they are not alone. We can choose to positively impact society around us everyday, without waiting for the opportunity for a grand gesture; it’s the little moments of kindness that inspire others to make kind choices as well. As Eleanor Roosevelt once stated, “one’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes…and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” Choose to make a difference today. We don’t need to wait until life circumstances play out the way we want them to in order to become better people; we can start being better people now.