When I was growing up, I began to see the ‘decay of society.’ My parents talked about how they could leave their doors unlocked and keys in the car. Apparently growing up in the ’50s and early ’60s really was like “Leave It To Beaver” and “Lassie”.

I wasn’t allowed to play in the front yard. I wasn’t allowed to talk to people I didn’t know. There’s an incident where my parents came home to an open door and I wasn’t there. They were scared witless until I came panting back in. If you want the story, I’ll give it to you later.

My point with this is that now we live in a society where we distrust people first, and then allow them more trust as we know them. That’s a good, safe thing to do, but when you begin a relationship with distrust, it’s hard to get trust into the situation. Someone has to compromise and put themselves into a position where they could potentially get hurt.

But what will it take to get us back to the point where we can trust people again? Truthfully, I’m not sure we’ll ever get to that point where we will, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try.

Something that I’ve tried to do recently is to help people when I can. Last week I told you about how I picked a guy up who was walking with jumper cables and it turned out to be a good thing. I also had an incident recently where I saw a guy get hit by a car (he didn’t really, but it looked that way) in Austin (it was late, on 7th and Red River.) I parked the car down the street, came back and the cops were there. I said something to the cops, because I was afraid it would get really out of hand – the guy was running down the middle of the street and turned in front of a car when the car started to pull out. As it turned out, everything was fine, the people knew each other, and I didn’t need to do what I did.

I felt like I needed to help out. Maybe if I hadn’t ran up the block to say something to the cops, bad things would have happened. But that could just be my wishful thinking.

I listen to KLove almost exclusively now. They call Mondays, “Make a Difference Mondays”, and they encourage people to call in and share their stories. Sometimes the stories are a bit cliché, but most of the time they really make you trust your fellow human. Heart warming… human interest stories… Whatever you call it, it still made a change in someone’s life and for even just that moment, the sun shone on them and the day got better.

I say all of this to ask a question:

What are you doing to make a difference?

Making a difference doesn’t have to be something major. It could be small. Even just smiling at someone can really make their day.

It’s really easy – look around you, there are hundreds of ways to help just in your daily life. Open the door for someone. Tell someone thank you. I’ve found that even saying Sir and Ma’am can really change things. A little respect goes a long way.

So as you make your way through the day today, and tomorrow, and the next day, keep an eye out for an opportunity to help someone. You never know, that little moment of kindness could turn out to really change your own life.

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