Thursday, August 09, 2007

Positive Influence

When I read Rodney's challenge for Thumbs Up!, I was encouraged and immediately wanted to be part of it. As Colin stated in one of his comments on his inaugural Thumbs Up! post, "Already I find with this Thumbs Up! initiative, that I am being forced to think of positives. I'm liking it".

Like Colin, I find myself looking for the positives in everything. You know what? They're out there, ready to be highlighted and pointed out. As I was considering what I would post positively on this week, I just looked around and watched people. I knew none of those that I was watching but I watched and I saw some amazing things, many of which we often take for granted. I saw smiles shared between strangers, hellos exchanged and have a great day was wished to others. I noticed others helping to carry things that would have been too heavy for one to carry alone. I witnessed a concerned neighbor help a stranded motorist. I watched as so many gave of themselves for the benefit of another.

To me, that is "positive influence" at work. It happens all the time but unfortunately many times we fail to recognize it for the true beauty it is. A simple Hello accompanied by a smile could make someones other wise rotten morning brighten up and help them to say, "Today is going to be great day"! We do well to not minimize the power of positive influence.

I remember just this past November I was alone and in Chicago. I knew no one and I was in the middle of downtown. I thought I would catch a cab and visit the Sears Tower. I hailed my cab and got in. As the driver left the curb, he turned, looked at me with a smile and an African accent said, Where would you like to go?" His smile put me at ease.

We began making small talk as he drove me to my destination. As it turns out, he and his wife were Christians and when he found out that I was a pastor, he was extra excited to have me in his cab. If a taxi ride could ever be delightful, this was the one.

As I exited the cab, I offered to this gentleman $20.00 which would have been plenty for my fare and a nice tip for himself. He looked at me with a smile and said, "No sir! You're a pastor and this one is on me!" I often think about my downtown Chicago taxi ride and the "cabby" who made it so enjoyable. The only thing he did was drive me to the Sears Tower! No, he made me feel at ease and shared his taxi and his life with me for a few minutes which has left, to this day, a positive influence on me. Whenever I think about him I pray for he and his wife.

What positives are we missing out on every day? You never know just the kind of positive impact you can have on someone by simply being nice and sharing a smile with them. The little things count too...don't overlook them where you live!


Apple said...

It truly is the little things that often make or break your day. Great post!

Shannon said...

Thanks for the comment and for stopping in, apple!