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When Inspired, Pass It On

Updated on February 26, 2013
“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” - Don Williams

There are special forces in our lives. They come to teach us but it is up to us to pass it on.

These forces come in many shapes and sizes and we call them - people. Some inspire us through their courage. Some, through the sacrifices they make for a worthy cause or for humanity in general. Others may exhibit extraordinary integrity or humility. With age, you begin to recognize the value in those special forces. You wonder where you would be now, had your path not crossed with these folks. You realize that there are pivotal people and pivotal moments in life.

Brilliant literary minds have stated that life is a journey but it does not take a brilliant mind to know this. It only requires a mind that is capable of logic. This thing we call life is quite like a mountain stream. It twists and turns and sometimes plunges us headfirst into the rocks. Just as a mountain stream alters its course when stones or timber blocks the path of the water, life too is altered by the events in our life. Even a random encounter on a busy street has the potential to change the course of our lives. I'll give you an example.

Puppy friends - Luna and Pacci
Puppy friends - Luna and Pacci | Source

Randomness? I don't think so.

The day was normal; busy, but normal. Luna, my Italian Greyhound (Iggy) needed a new leash so I made a quick dash over to Pet Smart. To avoid some shopper traffic, I darted down the toy aisle to come in the back way to the leash display. As I turned the corner, I was shocked to see a man blocking my way with a beautiful Italian Greyhound on a leash. It was shocking because I had run several ads in the paper looking for other Iggy owners, hoping to establish some play dates for the dogs. No one had responded. Inquiries at several veterinary offices produced the same result. No one knew of any Iggy's in the area.

Needless to say, I had to stop and ooh and ah over the dog and of course, that led to conversing with the owner. He too was interested in some doggy play time so we exchanged names and numbers. Being a bit lazy, I handed him a deposit slip from my checkbook. When I looked at his name, I recognized the last name as a family name on my mother's side of the family. Further conversation revealed that we were second cousins who had never met.

To keep this brief, we became friends and so did our Iggys. They enjoyed weekly play dates and cousin Don would come by unannounced to take Luna for a walk with Pacci. They were great buddies.

Four months after this unusual meeting of cousins, I received a phone call from the local emergency room asking if I knew Don. I had worked in health care for 35 years and I knew from the voice on the other end of the phone that this was bad. The caller asked me to come to the hospital and to bring Don's brother. When we arrived, the chaplain met us and explained that Don had been killed in a freak car accident and that the only contact information in his wallet was my deposit slip.

There is much more to the story but the point is, look at how many opportunities there were for Don and I to miss meeting each other.

  • Why did I go to Pet Smart that day?
  • Why did I dart down the toy aisle?
  • Why did I give Don that deposit slip?
  • Why did he keep it?

There was nothing random about this meeting. It was meant to be and the depth of it will be written one day, in another hub. What I hope you take from this story is that there are few accidents in life. There are special forces at work that bring people together at the right time, for the right reasons, for a higher purpose.


Higher Purpose

Throughout my life I met people that I knew crossed my path for a higher purpose. Some came to teach me a lesson about life. Some were there only briefly but in that time, inspired me. There were others who became lifetime friends and yes, there were some that when I met them, were already friends. At least that's how it seems when kindred spirits meet.

These random meetings often result in an expanding circle of friends. You know what I mean. You meet someone and in turn they introduce you to someone else who does the same and as a result you find yourself working a new job or involved in a new charity, all a result of a random meeting. It's the ripple effect and is evident in nature and in human relationships. Drop a pebble on the surface of a lake. You'll see what I mean.

Responsibility

These special forces in our life are not free. They are gifts to be cherished and shared. We are responsible for taking care of them and honoring them and, passing them on. For years, I wondered how to do that and then the answer came. It has become a tradition for me and I want to share it in hopes that you will find some value in it and make it a tradition in your life.

Tradition

Each year, on New Year's Day, I set aside the day to reflect on the past year. It is a quiet day for me. I do not plan other activities as I feel like the gifts in my life are deserving of my full attention. My purpose in this reflection is to choose someone who has made a significant alteration in the course of my year, or, someone who has inspired me or motivated me to change myself. It is not an easy decision because as I have aged, I have surrounded myself with people whose nature is to inspire, motivate, or serve as an example of positive influence. Once I have identified the person I feel is my most "pivotal person" of the year, I compose a letter to them, explaining what their relationship has meant to me and what benefit I have seen as a result of knowing them.

Sometimes the letters are infused with humor and sometimes they are pure praise. I write from my heart and the recipients know that the letter is personal and sincere. The reaction to these letters always amazes me.

This has been my tradition for over fifteen years now and I think perhaps I have been the real benefactor. What I have learned from this tradition is perhaps one of the most important life lessons I have ever learned and I want to share it with you.

As human beings living in difficult times and with too much stress, we are far too quick to criticize and far too slow to praise.

Think about it. How quick are you to rant at the clerk in a retail store when you have to return a damaged product? How quick do you complain to the lowly customer service representative when you call about the problem with your Internet connection or cell phone bill? How quick are you to yell at your spouse for not taking out the trash or your child for leaving their socks on the bathroom floor? If you're normal, you're probably pretty quick.

Now, think about it.

How different would life be if you were more patient, more kind, more thoughtful in your choice of words? Wouldn't it be nice to become a special force in someone else's life? It's up to you. Will you pass it on?

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Read more of my hubs here.

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  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Gypsy! You are so sweet. Thank you for caring. What a wonderful story you have shared with me. Every little girl needs a grandma, doesn't she? I really appreciate your visit, your comments, and your votes.

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    Voted up and interesting. So sorry to hear about your cousin. Yes, I truly believe that we meet people in our lives for specific reasons. It is our destiny leading us onward through life. One of the greatest examples I have of this is that my parents sometime in their lives met a wonderful woman who had no children of her own. When my mom's mom my grandma died she stepped in and said she would be my grandma and she was and she was one fantastic grandma. Lived into her 90s and I loved her very much. Thanks for sharing this inspirational hub and passing this on.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hey shiningirisheyes! You got it, didn't you. It was strange and wonderful all at the same time. No - nothing is random. We all have a destiny. Thanks so much for being here and sharing this with me.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Pamela99 - Thank you so much for your beautiful comment. I agree. Not all we meet are meant to remain in our lives forever but they all have a purpose.

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    Wow - if ever there was a higher power at work it was that trip to Pet Smart. Very impressive example teaching us all that every step has purpose. Nothing is random.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    This is a wonderful story to share. I think we all meet people that serve a special purpose and they are often in our lives for a short period of time, while others are there over decades. Awesome hub! So voted up and across.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Oh MizB - you should know by now that I share many of your interests and the metaphysical is one of them. I do know about sacred contracts and I agree that Don and I were destined. There is no other explanation. May write a hub on that one day too. :-) Thank you so much for understanding, commenting, and voting too.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 4 years ago

    This is a beautiful story, Linda, thanks for sharing. I don't know if you are into the metaphysical, but if you are interested in it and don't already know about such, look up and read about "sacred contracts". I believe your cousin and you were destined to touch each other's lives. Voted you up and beautiful!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    tirelesstraveler - you are right on all three points. Thanks for visiting.

  • tirelesstraveler profile image

    Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

    Definitely no chance meetings.

    Don't let opportunities slide past you.

    Eating words is much harder than cultivating relationships.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Rich! Thanks for visiting in the wee hours of your day. You know, I'm getting a lot of sympathy for tthe story in this piece but it's odd, I didn't see it as tragic at all. Of course it's sad that Don died but for me, it would have been tragic if we had never met or, if he had not had my contact information with him and had to lie in a cold, stainless-steel box for weeks while they tried to locate a relative. It's another lesson for me in the power of words. I'm always so happy to find one of your insightful comments on my screen. :-)

  • rcrumple profile image

    Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

    "For everything, there is a purpose...." As someone else once said, "Keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them." Your story is enlightening and then turns tragic. We never know for what reason a chance meeting occurs, but taking advantage of it to make a friend should never be shied away from. Great Hub, Linda!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    MH, you are something special. Thanks bunches. And...ditto!

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Thank you for sharing your reflection with us. I too think of the people who are martin. If you look you will even see Linda.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill, there are no back-up singers here. We are a duet! Your words are cherished, never doubt the value I place on our friendship. Hugs!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Dear Shauna, you are a kindred spirit, have no doubt. We think so similarly and have so many parallels in our crazy lives. Yes, there is a reason and a season and in time, you and I will understand. I'm sure of it.

    Thank you so much for understanding this story. Some will not. Hugs to you too sistah!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    We just got back from a day together and this is what I read upon my return. What a beautiful declaration of life...what a celebration! You, my friend, just continue to get better. Your true writing voice can be heard loud and clear, now, and it is like music.

    Keep singing, Linda, and I will keep providing the back-up vocal. :)

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, this is an amazing hub! First off, to meet your cousin by what seemed to be happenstance is beyond words. The rest of the story is sad, endearing and purposeful all at the same time.

    Your overall message in this hub solidifies 'Linda' when I think of her. You are amazing. You have so much to offer the world and I am proud that you have come into mine.

    Yes, Linda. Everything has its reason and its season. Your reason is to bring beauty to the world and remind us of our purpose on this God given earth.

    Just amazing! Hugs and kisses to you my dear friend!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi xstatic. Thanks. My life is full of stories like this. And I probably spend too much time analyzing. lol

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Interesting and inspiring too! You have a wonderful sense of what happened in that "chance" meeting and what came out of it. You express it well too. Your New Year tradition is inspiring.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    wow Carol. Thanks for sharing your story too. Life is so amazing when you don't get caught up in the negative, isn't it?

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    I got some goosebumps reading this and I can personally think of many things that happened in strange ways. My first husband...Just happened to go to a restaurant a certain day and rain into a friend of his and he said that my ex husbandwas coming out for his wedding...I said well have him call me HAHA..We were married for a long time and would have my sons if I had not gone into the restaurant that day. Just wanted to share because I do believe that these happen for a higher purpose. Thanks for sharing this very lovely and heartwarming story. Voted UP.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Dear Debbie, thank you so much. I haven't told that story about Don to many people. It was such a strange occurence. He was a good guy, well respected in the equestrian community here. He was so loved and we had many mutual friends. It was just very odd that we had never met. So yes, I know it was by design and that I was supposed to get that phone call. His brother had a heart condition and it would have been very difficult for him to receive the call. They had not been close for a very long time. Long story. I hope that you will adopt my little tradition. I have some amazing moments to cherish as a result of it.

    Now, thank you so much for your sweet comment and for visiting my little world here on HP.

  • debbiepinkston profile image

    Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

    Linda, what a beautiful story of meeting Don, not by chance but by divine appointment. I too believe that what happens to us in this life is orchestrated by a higher power and our lives are forever touched by special people. I love your New Years tradition, one that I'm thinking of adopting.

    Thank you for the reminder that life is so much more than what we see on the surface.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Jackie. Thanks for the visit. I don't believe in coincidence anymore but I am a complete believer in synchronicity. My life proves it over and over.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    This sounds much like synchronicity, your cousin part I mean. I did a study of that a few years back and it does seem to be too much for coincidence. Sounds like an excellent idea to take a day of searching too. You are very lucky that it would take you a day to decide!