Lifting Others – The Writing on the Sidewalk
While doing a 4-mile run, I had just finished the uphill part of my route. My legs were tired and I was getting out of breath. Still, I didn’t want to stop running. I just focused on the sidewalk in front of me. However, as I did, I noticed something written on the sidewalk:
“You’re Not Dying Your Living”
Still running, I started wondering if I was seeing things. Then I saw something else:
Odd as it may sound, these few phrases kept me going – and got me thinking. Someone had taken the time to write these on the sidewalk. Who knows why. Maybe it was for another race. Maybe they were bored and had nothing better to do. Whatever the reason, I was grateful that someone had taken the time to do it.
These phrases got me asking myself some questions.
What things am I doing to lift others? Am I taking the time to notice those around me? One day, I arrived at college feeling a little down. A very happy guy said “Hi, how are you doing?” I stopped and looked around to make sure he was talking to me, and responded – though I don’t remember what I said. He then replied “Well, you have a great day” and walked off. I have no idea who this guy was, but I knew he sincerely wanted me to have a happy day. My frown turned into a smile and I went about the day much more cheerful. Friendly words or a simple act of kindness can do wonders to help other people feel better.
What do I want to say? The things I say now may help someone in the future. Scriptures and inspirational quotes that help me were written by someone I never knew many years ago. One of the reasons I have started this blog is to help others. I want to share the things I’ve learned in the hopes that other people can benefit. I want to inspire others.
Am I honest with people? The “no excuse” that I came across helped me remember that excuses won’t get me anywhere. Sometimes the truth does hurt. For example, when we try to help loved ones realize that choices they are making are hurting themselves and/or others. Lifting others up includes helping them not only recognize their weaknesses, but turning those weaknesses into strengths.
All of these questions made me I think of a poem that I have heard called Builder or Wrecker.
I passed one day through a lonely town
And saw men tearing a building down
With a ho heave ho and a husky yell
They swung a beam and a side wall fell
I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled?
The kind you’d hire if you had to build?”
“Oh no” he chuckled “no indeed.
The common laborer is all I need.
Why I can destroy in a day or two
What builders have taken weeks to do.”
I thought to myself as I went on my way
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
Strengthening lives by rule and square,
Shaping my peers to a well-made plan
Helping them be the best they can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks around
Content with the labor of tearing down?
Sometimes we all just need a little encouragement to keep going. It could be with a fitness goal, schooling, an assignment at work, a personal tragedy, or just a bad day. Everybody needs a pick me up. Take the time to build others and lift them to where they can.