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Stories Connecting At This Very Moment

In your life may you positively impact the lives of others you never meet in places you have never been. In your life may you positively impact the lives of others you never meet in places you have never been.

What is your story?

You didn’t just wake up today after being dropped here from a distant planet.  Where you are today on the path of life is a result of what happened yesterday, the day before, the day before, and so on.  I will walk out on a limb and say that where you are today is no accident.  It is the cumulative sum total of all of your yesterdays.  

I like to hear people’s stories.  Where were you born?  Each time you fill out important papers that list your place of birth there is a story as to what your parents were doing there.  Our birthplace is one thing about each of us that is constant every day we live. 

For me, I repeatedly fill in the “Place of Birth:” blank with “Lassa, Nigeria.”  When my story began, my parents were missionaries to Nigeria.  Every breath I take on this planet will point back to my date of birth.  

After your birth, you were entirely dependent on others to supply your needs as you were raised through your youth.  Your story might include a stable and secure family, being passed from relative to relative, or moving every year because of your father’s job.  But at the end of the day it is your story.

At some point you turned eighteen.  What were you doing then?  Had you graduated from high school, was graduation ahead, or did you even attend a day of high school?  Where ever you were, that became part of your story.

Did you join the military, get married, attend college, or begin your first job?  Each of our paths is so different.  Did you quickly start a family?  Did you stay with your children’s other parent or did you separate?  At this stage, your story is now becoming your children’s story.  

What about your work history?  Did you take a job you are still working?  Have you changed jobs every few years?  Whatever steps you have walked has become a part of your story.As you are living your story, you are impacting and influencing other’s stories.  Sometimes you know exactly what your impact is.  Other times you have no idea.

We live our lives as we live our lives.  How we live our lives influences how other’s live their lives.  We don’t know how far the ripples we send out reach.  We don’t know what hangs in the balance of decisions we make.  There are individuals out there who, when they tell their story, include you in their story.

In other words, a simple statement or action you make may change the direction of another’s story which results in the change in direction of others lives and so on.  Again, you don’t know what hangs in the balance of what you do.

My son now lives in Dallas because a friend of his offered him a job there.  I am married to my best friend because a friend of mine told me about her 34 years ago.  I write this weekly syndicated column because a friend pushed me to do so 17 years ago and the first newspaper read some samples and felt its messages were worthy of being printed.

When you look back at your story, what influences and choices have led you to where you are today?  Did your mother or father make a statement that gave you direction?  Did a high school or college teacher spark your interest in an area that has led to your occupation today?  Did a car accident instantly change your world?  Did the loss of a loved one cause you to reassess and change your life’s direction?

I find all of this fascinating.  

At the very moment you are reading this your path and my path cross.  Regardless of the many steps each of us have walked, today our stories meet.

My challenge to you today is threefold.  First, take a look backwards at the journey you have traveled.  How did you get where you are standing today?  I hope you are at a good spot in your life.  If so, who do you need to be grateful to?  You might need to thank someone who doesn’t even know the impact they have had on your story.

Second, the path ahead for you has not yet been determined.  Beginning right now, you will choose how your story will be written.

Third, when your life is at its end and your story is told, what will be your story?  If it will be important to you then, make it important to you now. 

Just a thought…

Rick Kraft is a motivational speaker, a syndicated columnist, a published author, and an attorney.  To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to rkraft@kraftlawfirm.org.