Early 20th Century African-American poet Countee Cullen spent the summer of his eighth year in Baltimore, Maryland. Shortly after he arrived he noticed a little white boy staring at him. Countee smiled, but the little boy did not smile back. Instead, he stuck out his tongue and called him a hurtful, racial slur.
Cullen later wrote a poem that included his recollection of the summer when he was eight. In it, he says this:
"I saw the whole of BaltimoreThe white child likely soon forgot the episode. And he probably never was aware of the pain he inflicted on the young stranger. But the truth is... everything counts. EVERYTHING. Everything we do and everything we say. Everything helps or hurts; everything adds to or takes away from someone else.
from May until September.
Of everything that happened there
that's all I can remember."
Educator and writer Leo Buscaglia put it like this:
"The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no tickertape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our encouragement, who will need our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. 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. It's overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt."How truly amazing life can be when we know that... EVERYTHING COUNTS.
-- Steve Goodier
Image by Darinka Maja