35. Engage

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”   — Leo Buscaglia

We all have an innate desire to be loved or feel important from the time we are born all the way through the time we die.  I use the word important synonymously for the word love because when we are feeling important we feel meaningful and significant which plays an important role in the intense emotion of love.

I am prior military, and I specifically remember this period in my life with an abundance of love. The first time I put on my uniform with crisp starched creases and spit shinned boats I held my head up higher than I have ever held it before.  I felt a surge of goose bumps make their way from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. My eyes began to swell with fluid and I knew if I blinked tears would stream down my face and it would show weakness, so I stared off into space without blinking and thought about how my actions will afford people the opportunity for freedom.  After boot camp I flew home in my uniform and strangers approached me and shook my hand, thanking me for my service.  To this day my response is the same. I blush, smile and nonchalantly say you’re welcome. This small gesture by these strangers made me feel loved and important; they made me feel like my existence had boundless meaning.

During my time of service my day-to-day life seemed routine. I felt I was living my life just like others my age, in reality I was experiencing a whole different way of living.  As a veteran people frequently ask me what my job was in the Navy. I explain that my rate or job title was a Boatswain’s Mate, and one of the duties is to drive the ship. Immediately they become enamored that someone so petite could do such a job. I further go on to explain that I was a master helmsman and that while I may be petite I can drive a nuclear aircraft carrier better than Vin Diesel can race a car in Fast and Furious.  Being able to reminisce over this period in my life I am able to realize and put into perspective all the accomplishments achieved, giving me a surge of significance. Without the innate desire to feel important and loved I would have never been able to obtain life with such meaning.

Small conversations such as these can make people feel their worth. Through worth, love can be empowering providing a building block for growth through positive energy.

Affirmation: Today I will make a stranger or a loved one feel important. I will put a genuine smile on their face and make them feel the energy that radiates from love.

Call to Action:  Engage in a conversation with someone you see frequently but whom you have never spoken with. When asking someone how their day is really take the time and engage in the conversation, ask questions and make them feel like they are the only living soul that matters for that moment. Let a stranger know that you appreciate who they are and what they do. Make those around you feel important.

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