Maryland Aging in Community

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What Difference Does It Make?

This is a repost from Chava Ball, Village Engagement Director, Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc. (CHAI)

If you put your hand in a bucket of water and swirl it around until the water inside looks like a miniature hurricane, and then you take your hand out…what happens to the water? In just a few minutes the water returns to its former state and it doesn’t appear that your hand was even there.

We don’t live in water (I am glad). What we do DOES make a difference in somebody else’s life. Even if we are not aware we have made a difference, we still do. So many times we just don’t see it. Recently, a lady told me how my life had impacted hers several months before. I had no idea. We do not know what we do not know.

Making a difference is a little like having dominoes all lined up. When you touch one domino, it touches the next and they all fall down….also known as the “domino effect”! Unlike dominoes, when we make a difference in someone’s life, we cannot track how many more people will benefit from what we did. It may have an impact on someone you will never know.

Have you heard the story of the middle-aged pilot (Captain “Sully”) who landed his plane on the Hudson River. I have never met Captain “Sully,” but he has had a profound impact on my life. (Do you see the domino effect?) I want to pass on what I have learned.

Sully attributed his success to the fact that all of his life’s experiences prepared him for that few moments in time. He saved 155 lives! As we get older, somehow, we start thinking that the best is past. We overlook the value of where we are. It is not too late to make a difference!

What about the “sum total” of our experiences? Do they have any value? Is there something we have learned we can share with someone else to make their life more meaningful? There are many opportunities to volunteer at Northwest Neighbors Connecting, but the services not only help NNC members, they also benefit YOU! There is some evidence to support that fact!



Chava is a member of our Maryland Aging in Community CoP.

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