The past couple of days I have thought a lot about example. Particularly the example set by parents for their kids. I watched my husband last night and several other men today in Church, and it made me think about the examples set by each one of us on a daily basis. Often people remember what we did, not what we said. Often, as in almost always. When our actions are good, people are more willing to listen to our words, but when our actions don’t match our words, what people most often take away is our what they observed, not what we said.
Last night, after my husband had gone up to our bedroom to work on a Church lesson for one of our Young Men groups, a woman called and needed help loading her broken down car onto a car trailer, and then turning the truck and car trailer around. I thought my husband had gone to bed and told her I would try to find someone else to help her. I texted him to see if he was awake and knew of someone else I could call at that hour, and told him the situation. He came right down stairs, fully dressed, less than a minute later, and he and I and one of our sons went out the door and off to help this person. It didn’t take long, the lady was able to get on her way home in less than 3o minutes. For her it was a huge deal, for my husband it was a small setback in lesson prep that he didn’t complain about. For my son though, it was a huge example of one neighbor stopping to help another, it was a dad teaching life skills, it was real life experience in selfless service. Nothing was said when we got home, and life proceeded without any more interruptions. But the example was set. This isn’t the first time that example has been set by my husband. He has involved our kids in all sorts of service over the years. Sometimes they complain, sometimes it’s inconvenient, but it is always done, and it always helps improve our kids perspectives, and helps them look beyond themselves.
Today at Church I had another opportunity to see wonderful men step up and set a great example, not only for my sons, but also for the other young men in our Church. The young men pass the sacrament to the congregation, and there was not enough. Usually they find more people to help ahead of time, but it didn’t happen today. As they stood up it was obvious there was not enough, and 3 men, without being asked stepped up and helped. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it was an example that those young men needed to see, that they hopefully will never forget. People willing to jump in where needed without being asked to do so. I have had so many good examples in my life. People who I know, who I look up to, and people I have never met, and probably won’t ever see again.
One particular incident that had a huge impact on my kids was at a Taco Bell drive-thru. We had ordered our food and were waiting in line to pay. When we got up to the window we were told that our order had been paid for by the car in front of us. My kids couldn’t believe it! A total stranger willing to pay for our whole order! They were so excited that they wanted to pay for the car behind us, so we did. It is something they will never forget, and since then I have done that for people on other occasions, mostly at the prompting of my kids as it was such a cool feeling to be on the receiving end and on the giving end that particular day.
So, today I am grateful. Today I get to look back at people who have had an impact on my life through their actions, not their words. I also get to look forward, wanting to have that same great impact on someone else. We often forget that, no matter what we do in our lives, someone is watching. Take time to be that example today, tomorrow, this coming week. When you have obvious opportunity to impact someone else’s life in a positive way, do it! This week I am going to look for opportunities to help someone else, and to hopefully find opportunities for my kids to do the same. I hope you’ll take the same opportunities in your life as well. I know that it will not only positively impact the other persons life, but it will brighten your life just a little more as well.