Positive Quote: “Do you know what is the greatest gift anyone can receive in his lifetime? The greatest gift we can receive is to have the chance, just once in our lives, to make a difference. Do you understand how many times you made a difference? Enough for a hundred lifetimes.” – Doctor Strange speaking to Peter Parker
I did not realize it would be a challenge to select a quote from the Marvel universe. I decided on Doctor Strange and Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spiderman).
One of the aha moments I personally had occurred later in my life, probably in my late twenties. My daughter was still a baby and my son was not even a thought in my head. I remember watching my daughter sleep in my arms and thinking to myself that her future life would be impacted by the decisions I made in raising her. I did not know anything about being a mother, much less a good one. I had plenty of examples in my life of how I did not want to be. Every baby is different and there are no manuals to tell you how to raise a happy, confident, and well balanced child.
I made plenty of mistakes and plenty of times where I chose what I thought was right in the hopes that as she got older that she would know she was loved and cared for.
For example, when she would cry as a child (up to the age of 3’ish) I would check the simple things of hunger, changing, carrying, etc… and if that failed I would hold her and lightly blow on her forehead. 99 times out of a 100 it distracted her and the tears dried up and she was able to go back to playing, or watching Teletubbies, or just being her. Somehow that memory of me distracting her crying carried forward and she told me awhile back that she thought I thought she shouldn’t cry…. It opened up a huge conversation for us. I explained my rationale to her and she understood.
Yet it makes me wonder, what other things that we do in life impact others to what degree? If you are distracted and fail to say your normal hellos to people, do they think you are upset and if so, would that impact their future interactions with you? If you leave your house without saying goodbye to your kids, would they be affected; even though you may have hollered a quick goodbye? If someone is late to work and we chastise them does it help or hurt since we don’t know the whys?
I realize that it doesn’t make sense to go around and consciously ask ourselves how we are impacting others. That would be too exhausting. However, for me at least…. more often than not… I try to breathe twice (in and out) which is just about 2-3 seconds… and then talk, interact, listen, etc… that 2-3 second break helps me focus my attention on the person or activity.
This quote also reminds me of a book I read several years ago called “How Full is your Bucket” by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton. They are the same authors of Strengthfinders 2.0. The precept of the book is that our actions and words can either fill a person’s bucket (positively) or help empty their bucket (negatively). I would recommend this book and as a side benefit, it flows smoothly and is a fairly quick read.
What does this quote make you think of?
Have a terrific Tuesday and let’s all go fill up some buckets.