Recently I read this post on Facebook: “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” I smiled. It’s true. My dog thinks I’m pretty special. I can tell because he follows me wherever I go, spends hours beside me at my desk, and shows immense gratitude when a dog cookie appears. But I have a bit of a spin on that sentiment. My thought is: “Be the person you wish you knew.” I’m talking about the one you could have used in your life to make things just a bit easier.
I lost my mother in my early twenties. Sure, I survived as a motherless young adult; however, I yearned for a wise aunt. Someone I could turn to for mature sage advice, someone who knew my mother, someone to share the loss, the tears, the triumphs. And someone to watch me walk down the aisle.
Who was that missing person in your life? Maybe it was one of the cool kids who would have invited you to sit at that coveted lunch table and helped you fit in? Or perhaps a wise mentor to show you the ropes when you got your first job? What if you had a teacher who really encouraged and showed an interest in you? Or a coach who believe in you? Maybe it was a parent who was missing from your life.
Thanks to my brother and sister-in-law, I am fortunate enough to have a niece providing me with the opportunity to perform the role that was missing in my life. In my case I was blessed with the responsibility, however, there is always an avenue to find a person who really needs you in his or her life.
When you find that individual, make a difference.
Be a helping hand, and a hand to hold when needed. Listen with both your head and your heart. Lend a shoulder to cry on, then speak your truth. Never withhold a dose of tough love if that is the required remedy. As Aristotle advised, “Lead from your heart and mind and listen to theirs.” Do these things, and you will be the positive story in someone else’s life.
This week I invite you to spend some time identifying that person absent from your life and take action. Know that you are the missing link in the life of a friend, a child, or at this point a mere stranger.
Pursue and build a relationship. I promise you, it will be fulfilling. Someone out there needs you, your talents and your super powers. Be the person you wish you knew.