Last night, I was able to go for a nice long walk with two lovely people who I work with while I was out of town for a meeting. Along the route, I noticed this “Half Full” message painted along the ground a number of times. I have no idea what it was about. Construction of some sort? Electrical work? I’m not sure. But I found it amusing and my mind kept wandering back to it long after we’d returned to the hotel. What if they’d written “Half Empty”? The route would’ve seemed less…friendly…somehow.
And then there’s this. I noticed this installation at the Botanical Gardens this weekend. Of all the times I’ve wandered through the garden, I cannot believe I’ve never seen this.
“No individual has any right to come into the world or go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.”
Like the “Half Full” notes, these words were on my mind for a long time after I’d left. It made me wonder about my purpose for passing through this world.
And then today, I saw someone who brought both messages to mind — and tied it all together for me. As we headed towards the airport shuttle, I noticed the driver right away. His enormous smile never left his face as he hauled luggage aboard the bus. “I’m blessed,” was his reply any time anyone would ask how he was doing. He teased and endeared himself to each traveler he encountered. He was as kind, joyful, and funny as anyone I’ve ever seen. I watched him go about his work, in total awe. In fact, when we got to the airport and got off the bus, I gave him a hug goodbye. This man should be in health care, I thought to myself. With a demeanor like that, he could really make a difference in people’s lives.
Then it occurred to me. He IS making a difference — right where he is, doing exactly what he’s doing — just because of who he is. His reason for passing through this world is to bring the “Half Full” to stressed travelers’ paths. I don’t drive a shuttle bus, but thanks to my new favorite driver, I’m now keenly aware of what a difference our actions and attitudes can make for those who are passing through this world along with us.