We positively touch thousands of people throughout our lifetime. People we may not remember. People we met only once. People we loved, lost or possibly couldn’t stand. People who remember us for something we said or did.
Think about that. Think about the power you have to transform someone’s life, to give someone hope, to help someone see another side with a simple act or kind word of encouragement. If you stop and consider how many people you have touched over your lifetime, you may see yourself in a different light.
I remember a circus clown who touched my life because he took the time to console my mother after my father’s passing. I was only 9 years old and my father passed away from heart failure. My mother was devastated, grief-stricken and barely able to cope.
Before my father Dick died, he was part of a local union band that played for the Ringling Barnum and Bailey circus every year. He made friends with many of the performers even some of the chimpanzees. Although I do recall one of the chimps held him in contempt and would act up as he passed by the band.
My brothers and I were treated to front row free tickets to see the show. When we arrived, my dad would take us back stage to meet some of the performers. There were a number of circus clowns that knew my dad quite well. They addressed him by name and generously hugged me. I remember feeling so important almost as I achieved celebrity status.
There was a clown named Dougie. One of the “boss” clowns and the leader of the clown unit, every year we attended the show, he made it a point to chat with my mom and dad before the circus began.
After my father died, the last thing my mother wanted to do was return to the circus. “It would bring back too many memories Jeanne,” she said with tears streaming down her face. As such a young child, I didn’t understand how my selfish request would have such an ill effect on my mother. So I repeatedly begged her until she relented and took us to see the greatest show on earth.
Before the show began, Dougie made a point of coming over to my mother. He said, “Shirley, I was so saddened to learn about Dick. He was beloved by so many of us. I can’t imagine your loss.”
My mother was blown away that after a year, he remembered. She appreciated his act of kindness. He remembered my dad. He remembered our family. He took the time to show how much he cared. It was a moment I’ll never forget. It’s etched permanently in my mind like an engraved statue that stands the test of time.
Touching people is more important now than ever. Kindness is never forgotten. Long after we’re gone, people will remember you for how you made them feel. Now that’s a touching thought.
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