This is a philosophical statement. It is intended to spark thinking and examining.
It was a few minutes before the start of a little Tai Chi seminar that I teach yearly at a local convention. I was off to the side, stretching and getting ready and thinking of how to run the class when someone approached me. I remembered them from last year, and we said hello and how do you do, and then they began sharing something.
“My dad and I have never really been close. He’s practiced Tai Chi for years, but I’ve never really paid any attention to it. After doing your seminar last year though, I went up to him and, for the first time ever, asked him about it. And we started doing Tai Chi together. It’s really been a way for us to connect in a way we never had before.”
They paused for a moment before continuing.
“I have a relationship with my dad now. Thank you for running this seminar.”
It’s hard to start a class with tears in your eyes, as we both did in that moment.
One thing that is certain in life: we never fully know the impact(s) we have on the lives of others.
We can be a contribution to people in so many ways. *
In all of what we can do in our lives, in all the ways we can be, in all the ways we can treat other people, in all the “why bother” moments we may have, in the face of all the times we think “what difference does it make”, there’s a reminder here. A reminder that we are not an island.
Even more so, there’s an invitation here. An invitation to call ourselves forward, to be generous, to be magnanimous, to be friendly, and to be out there, engaged, pursuing, and sharing all the great things.
Because even the smallest, strangest, unlikely, unrelated, and seemingly inconsequential things we do and say can have huge impacts on others. We can touch people, we can inspire people, we can move people to action. We can help create what we want for ourselves and others.
Because even a frivolous and short playtime session with Tai Chi, in the midst of a social-heavy convention, can lead to amazing breakthroughs and personal victories.
* Likewise, it is equally important to remember that we can just as easily be a detraction and cause distress and complications with our actions and words, whether intentional or simply careless. Again, we may never know the impact(s) we’ve had (and if we find out we’ve been a jerk, we can go “eep!” and learn and apologize). But we can walk through life with this in mind, being responsible for our impact on people and the world, and choosing to be in a way that honours us all.