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The picture of the above sign says it all…or rather, it’s the theme of what I want to write about today. Along with a beautiful book of photographs of beach houses and decorating tips, my friend Connie gave it to me for my birthday/housewarming. That very weekend I placed it in the kitchen window of my little beach bungalow so that I could be reminded of Gandhi’s words. (Later, I’m going to blog about the importance of having like-minded friends who can bring out the best of you).

Back to the plaque. A few months ago at church, someone mentioned that instead of just asking God to be with the “sick and afflicted,” the widows, the poor, etc., that maybe we should DO something to help. It’s easy to pray but not so easy to actually do one’s part to bring about positive change. Although I haven’t actually done much for the poor and needy and sick, I’ve been pondering more of how to help and what to do. Yes, I know that talk is cheap, but I am committed to doing something even if it’s just to write a check or work in a soup kitchen.

What I’d like is for the world I inhabit to be a kinder, gentler place. What am I doing to “be the change?”  I can’t change the mindset of the world leaders, single-handedly stop crime, or halt the horrific abuse of children and women, but I can make some changes in my little corner of the world. I can keep annoyance and anger out of my voice. I can do as the Talmud advises and “Be kinder than necessary.” I can give someone the benefit of the doubt. I can smile more often. I can give more hugs…when appropriate.

My aunt and I were chatting the other evening, and she was telling me about a doctor’s office she had visited. Impressed with the personnel and the treatment, she says she’ll be going back there. One big factor was the gentle hug she got from the nurse practitioner.  That one act on the part of this employee made a huge impact on my aunt and influenced her decision of where to go for medical help. I think concern and warmth can positively affect the healing process too. The bottom line here is that if this nurse practitioner can “be the change” in her sphere. So can I. And so can you.

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