Motivational Article: Do I make a difference in someone’s life?

“Is life worth living? “Does anyone ever notice me?” “Do they care what I have to say?” These are questions that we have all asked ourselves, at least once in our lives.

Are you uncertain about the positive impact that you have on others? Do you feel that your time of usefulness is over? You never know who may be appreciating you as a person or your writing.

Ironically, I had been second guessing the impact I had on others until June of 2004 when I learned of painter Phil Roberts. I came across a painting of his on the net titled ‘Fathers Day’.

I was inspired by that painting so much that it sparked my creativity. I wrote a poem regarding the painting. Then with no hesitation or thought, I quickly sent it off to Phil. A day later Phil Roberts sent me an email that changed the way that I thought about my writing and my life. Here is the email that he sent me.

“Dear Rose, I’m floored! I am so flattered by your poem. It’s beautiful. To hear that the work you do inspires someone else to be creative, makes everything so worth it. And to hear about it is such a gift. Thank you so much for your e-mail, I have the biggest smile on my face… you made my week. The father in the painting is a close family friend and famous Florida surfer Dick Catri and his daughter Kim. I did the painting as a present to Kim when she had her first son, Dick??s first grandchild. Dick’s health is failing as of late, we all are worried about him. I forwarded your poem to Kim; I know it’ll make her cry.

The painting is even more special now that I have my first daughter and looking forward to the day I take her surfing. The original art was featured in a museum show in Corpus Cristi, Texas and will probably end up in the surf museum in Cocoa Beach, Florida. I would love to send you a print of the painting to say Thanks, if you’d like…e-mail me an address. As my friend / writer Drew Kampion says “Life is a wave, Surf it gracefully”, as you have captured so eloquently. Keep on writing.”

That was the first email I received from Mr. Roberts. I was touched that he liked my poem that much. Prior to this, I was feeling disappointed. I was wondering if my life had any value or if people even cared. I was always the type of person who gave no hesitation to doing something nice for someone. It was just in my nature to think of others before myself. I responded to Mr. Roberts’s first email and he replied back. In the second letter, I sent him a photo of a man inquiring if it was Dick Catri. I was intrigued to know more about the painting.

This was Mr. Robert’s second email to me.

“Yes, that’s Dick Catri! How’d you find that photo? The internet is scary amazing. He’s an East Coast Champion and Hall of Fame’r. He was a big wave surfer with the legends, like Greg Noll, in Hawaii during the ’60s. I got my first job airbrush painting on his surfboards when I was 15. I’ve been very close with his family ever since. The tribe of surfers is a tight knit family. I shared you poem with his daughter Kim, she thought it was “extremely cool” and can’t wait to share it with Dick on Fathers Day. My heart goes out to you for the loss of your father, but “from where I sit” I see that his spirit is definitely lives in your words. The love you put out there in your writing is already effected myself and others and has come back to you. Again thank you for your poem.”

I was pleased that Kim was sharing my poem with her father. It made writing it even more of a joy. To think my poem moved someone enough to share it with their loved one. It has been said, “No man is an island.” We should never underestimate the impact that we have on others.

Another online friend said to me that same week, “Do you know why the Dead Sea is dead?” I said, “No why?” ??Well, because the water flows only one way. It does nothing but take, like many people we know. You are more like the Atlantic. You both take and give. Therefore you thrive and give life to others. Think of this analogy when ever you feel down and if anyone gives a damn.”

I never thought that I had much of an impact on those around me, but I guess I really do. The next time you find yourself wondering if your life makes a difference or if anyone ever notices you. You bet they do. You see, you may be just writing these feelings down as a way to express your emotions, you might be doing something for someone because it’s in your nature to do kind deeds, but it is the overall impact that you have on a person that is the most rewarding thing out of life.

When I’m on my death bed, I want to leave this world knowing three things. Did I live my life to the fullest? Did I live my life as I wanted to, not as others wanted and did I touch the life of just one person? Now I can honestly say that I have, my writing has.

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The above painting is by painter Phil Roberts. Phil’s illustrations have been published in books such as ‘The Book of Waves: Form and Beauty on the Ocean‘ and on the cover of ‘Dale Velzy is Hawk’, as well as on the cover of Surfer Magazine and on dozens of Hollywood movie posters such as the 1998 Rugrats Movie, 2005 Bad News Bears, 2006 Grandma’s Boy, 1992 Encino Man and many others.

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