Sunday, November 23, 2014

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead. — Nelson Mandela

On Thursday, November 20, my 62nd birthday, I was a presenter in a Gathering of Authors at the Allegheny Valley Library in Natrona Heights, less than a half mile from my place of birth.  What a humbling experience that was, to visit the place of my birth to speak to my first group and have my first book signing for STUDENT TEACHING;  THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER.  It was truly an emotional experience, and I wished in vain for my parents and my late husband to be there with me.  They would have been so pleased.

After each author presented, a question and answer period was held, and then the patrons chose and bought books and brought them forward to be signed by the authors.  I was particularly touched by a young woman who asked me to inscribe the book for her sister. She said her sister had studied to be a teacher, but she was unable to find a permanent position, and became disillusioned, and she is now doing a job that requires manual labor, not her teaching degree.  The young woman liked my enthusiasm for teaching, and she hoped that by sharing my book with her sister, that her sister would try again to return to the profession she loved.  The young woman thought that I could make a difference to her sister - through my book.

I wrote an encouraging note in the book, and I thought about how often one person CAN make a difference to others.

Please stop reading for a few seconds and think about someone who made a difference for YOU.  Maybe it was a teacher  . . . or a parent, a relative, a friend, a neighbor, or a co-worker; someone who lifted you up when you were down, or someone who helped to point you in the right direction as you were traveling in circles.  

Wouldn't it be nice to let that person know that he or she made a difference in your life?

This week is Thanksgiving, and then the crazy time of the year begins, when we all try to fit one whole month of fun and parties into a few weeks' time.  But, it is good to sit still for a few minutes and allow your mind and body to be calm.  Perhaps when you are enjoying a moment, you could send an email or a text, or better yet, a handwritten note, to someone in your distant or not so distant past who made a difference for you.  Let them know that in the spirit of Thanksgiving, you are remembering and reaching out to let them know how much you appreciate their time and guidance.   I can promise you that should you choose to write a note, the note will become worn out from many readings, but the internal glow of both the sender and the receiver will not be extinguished.  

You see, everyone needs to be acknowledged and appreciated.  Everyone needs to know that they have helped to make a difference in the lives of others.  

Please let me know your feelings and the outcome if you should decide to do this.  I would like it if my advice made a difference to YOU.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC

Like my blogs?  My new book STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER, is available at It is a fun and fast read, spoken in first person, with tips and anecdotes all about success and being the best you can be.  

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