Joanna Porter, an old friend of mine, recently posted these insightful words by the late Leo F. Buscaglia, and in this week's column, these words say exactly what I want to convey today.
By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
Joanna Porter, an old friend of mine, recently posted these insightful words by the late Leo F. Buscaglia, and in this week's column, these words say exactly what I want to convey today:
"The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape 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 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 a potential to turn a life around. It’s overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt."
Here's the thing. Each week in this newspaper, my task is to write a little bit about the simple life...a life I chose to live so many years ago. And, along the way - through volunteer work, my career, my family, my church, my extracurricular activities, my random acts of kindness - I hoped to make a difference. Not for awards and recognition and accolades, but just to simply be a person someone may remember as being kind and thoughtful.
And you know what? I have met so many people in my lifetime who have done, and continue to do, so much more than that. There are people right here in our own communities who truck along, every single day, inspiring others - quietly and simply - with no intention of receiving public recognition for who they are. I have written about a few of them already: Jonathan Dayton, Alice Stephens, Lisa Fazenbaker Bruckey, my son Andy and my parents Fred and Janet Cavin. These were, and are, people I am proud to know.
And, there are plenty more around us, too. They could be your next door neighbor. They could be someone at church who is earnest in her devotion to service and leadership. They could be a local business that goes over and above what it is expected to support the community in which they live. It could be a gentleman who has so many problems to deal with himself, yet he puts others' needs ahead of his own. It could be someone who is very ill, yet still smiles, and inspires us to look at ourselves and our own trivial complaints and feel such compassion and empathy.
I know many out there. People who have little, yet give what they can of the love in their hearts. People who struggle with life's challenges, even despair and tragedy, yet overcome. People who have lost someone very dear to them, yet survive and triumph and flourish. People who have suffered - really suffered - yet somehow find such strength and courage to rise...and shine...expecting nothing in return.
In my future columns, I will be featuring some of these people. I want the readers of this column to get to know a little about a local missionary who travels all over the world, sharing the news of God's Kingdom. I want readers to know about a local business that a family started to honor a dearly-loved family member and her fight against that cancer monster. I want readers to hear about some local women who have faced the possibility of imminent death, yet still live and prosper today - serving as a testimony of the grace of God. I want to write about a teacher from Baltimore who chose to relocate her family to Westernport, and right away, with knowing so few people, delved right in and organized a very successful children's Christmas party, with overwhelming support of the community. Furthermore, I'm sure readers will be interested in learning about a gentleman in our community who spends his spare time keeping local history alive through social media, and someone else who is a local musician ready to make it big time!
So many great, intriguing, under-appreciated people!
Here are a few ideas that my readers have suggested:
Vanessa Broadwater has asked that I write about a very amazing person who does everything without asking for any recognition. She heads up a non-profit group that gives to the public twice a year and helps needy families throughout the year.
Carrie Watson Wolford wants the readers to know about the students in her Advisory Class at Keyser Middle School who are supporting the "Jenner the Cat" project.
Dott Biggs Whelan has asked me to write about a local woman who worked tirelessly to secure a large grant for a local church for its community outreaches, and to write about a Westernport business owner who is no longer with us, yet impacted the community with her kindness and generosity throughout her entire life. There will be many memories of this woman, for sure!
Glenna Hollern wants my column to feature a local business that has operated for many, many years - with excellent customer service...and one more people need to know more about.
Tommy Nester wants me to write about his awesome drama kids at Keyser Middle School!
Eric Iser mentioned to me that he would like to see a column about a Mineral County teacher whom he feels should be recognized for all of her time and dedication to her students.
Karen P. Fike would like to see a column featuring the efforts of a local woman who rescues cats and kittens, takes care of their health needs with community support, and then finds loving homes for them. Since I am a cat-lover myself, this will be right up my "alley"!
Patricia Crites knows a woman who has devoted her life's work to Mineral County for over 50 years, and wants everyone to know what an inspiration she is to old and young alike.
Emma Brashear thinks a feature on a local pastor would be great. She believes readers need to know about his passion, his love, and the encouragement he gives to others.
On a final note, a friend of mine, Brian Tucker, who happens to be quite talented and creative by the way, literally reminds all of us every day - "Be awesome, no matter what!" Words to live by, folks. No matter the trials and tribulations.
I am always open to ideas for this column. Do you know someone who makes life special? Someone who brings light and love to everyone he or she passes? Please contact me. You can message me on Facebook, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at this newspaper for me 304-788-3333.