As I was reclining at the end of my recent blood donation, a young nurse came to tidy things up. We began chatting and she asked me a few questions about myself.
I told her that I was self-employed, did seminars and (almost as an after thought) said, “Oh, and I wrote a book called Making a Living Without a Job.”
The moment I said that, she got tears in her eyes. “You were sent to me,” she said softly. She regained her composure and told me how she dreamed of quitting her job and traveling.
I grabbed one of my cards and promptly wrote the book title on the back. “I think this will help,” I told her.
I left the blood bank marveling, once again, how often the opportunity to be of service comes in ways and places we’ve never anticipated.
A few days later, I posted this on Facebook:
As I’ve been crocheting scarves for the homeless, I keep thinking about how I’ll never know who the recipients are.
Today I realized that writing is very much the same. We send it out and have no idea who it will impact. That’s a good enough reason to keep creating and sending it out.
That elicited a reply from Dyan deNapoli, also known as The Penguin Lady. She wrote:
“It’s so true, Barbara! Just last week, I received a lovely note from a college student who had read my book about the penguin rescue when it came out 7 years ago, and was so moved by the story that she decided to become a marine biologist!
“She’ll graduate college in 2019, and wanted to thank me for inspiring her to follow this path. Did I get a little weepy when I read her letter? You bet I did!!
“It’s a big part of why I do what I do. And when someone takes the time to let you know how you’ve influenced them, it truly means so much.”
So this is just a little reminder to keep creating because you never know where you’ll be sent to solve a problem or inspire someone else’s dream.
As writer Annie Dillard points out, “The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it’s destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.”
Keep sharing and trust that someone somewhere is looking for exactly what you have to offer.