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Respecting a persons opinion or belief does not mean that you subscribe to their ideas and philosophies. We were created differently for a reason and I tend to believe it is so we can learn from each other. I have come across “interesting” people in my life and oftentimes did not see or understand their significance until later. It is amazing how the words spoken to me (even when I didn’t understand or agree at first) flood my mind when I need them most.

As a teenager I dealt with self-esteem issues and I would hear the words of my grandma “God don’t make NO junk!” over and over in my head. At times, it snapped me out of my moments and helped me regain focus. I will admit I rolled my eyes as a teenager when she said it but now I get it and find myself repeating it to my children.

When my daughter was a toddler, a lady from my uncles church said to me “when you see a gift in her, invest in it.” I’m pretty sure I looked at her crazy but I heard her. I had an opportunity to speak with the woman in April and reminded her of the “nugget” she gave me. She didn’t remember but appeared shocked that I did. This wasn’t a lady I spoke with often or spent much time with but I remembered what she said so when I recognized my daughters gift to dance, I began to invest.

Sometimes it’s the simple nuggets people drop here and there that can change our perspective. The simple nugget this woman dropped on me has been invaluable especially as I watch my daughter excel in her craft.

My best friend, whom I call “coach” carries a wealth of information. I use to wonder how she knew so much but I started to pay attention. She is a woman who observes, listens, and takes notes of the people and things around her. Although she doesn’t have children, she came to me with information for my son that pushed me to get over myself and has helped our family tremendously. How did she know? By listening, observing, and taking note of the people around her. I could have pulled the “you don’t have kids, why should I listen to you” card, but when I stopped, observed, and thought about it I realized she was right. She gave my son and I one of the greatest gifts in the world by simply speaking up. That moment taught me to not allow a persons circumstances deafen my ears.   

Throughout the years, I have learned not to limit myself to receiving from those who appear or I deem successful. In all things, we must open our minds and remain teachable because we never know where our help will come from. I challenge everyone to look beyond a persons circumstance and just listen. God has a sense of humor and that one person you thought could never teach you anything may be the one person who delivers the message you need. Oh yes, and as always…pay it forward.

One Love,