For a while, I was one of many people that believed that a small act didn’t make an impact. As a child I was often told that small things don’t make a difference. Whenever my parents were mad at each other, I would try to help them be happy again. But my dad would tell me that nothing I do would make a difference. So, for a while, I thought they were right. When I first started playing soccer, I would just run back and forth along the side of the field. The first three games were spent watching the other players attempt to kick the ball into the goal. After losing our third game by just one point, my coach pulled us all aside and said “Someone once said that ‘if you ever think small things don’t matter, think of the game you lost by one point.’ This is that game. You all are small in size compared to adults but in no way does that mean you don’t matter. So don’t listen to anyone who tries to tell you that. If you try to score a goal you might miss OR you could score the point we need to win the game.” We didn’t know it at the time, but, on that day, he changed the way a lot of little girls would be thinking about things for the rest of their lives. He was the small act of kindness that started it all for me and my team and we do our best to continue what he started each and every day. He was, and always will be, our light in the dark.

So, if you’ve ever been told that something you do isn’t good enough, let me wipe that from your brain right now. Whoever said that is 100% wrong. A small, perhaps random, act of kindness can make someone’s day or week. Doing something simple can positively influence someone’s life forever. It can help them smile, laugh, change, and, hopefully, pay it forward. It can also provide them with hope. Hope that can rebuild that which was once broken. Hope that can make a path when nothing else could. Hope that can remind them that they are loved, significant, and worthy of life. You can be a light in the dark.

I have been lucky enough to meet a lot of really, truly amazing people in my life. I am constantly welcomed with open arms and kind words. Whenever I am having a bad day, I can count on the lovely people I’ve been blessed with to help brighten my day. From simply asking how my day is going to the hundreds of hugs I receive, the people in my life never fail to make my life brighter and better. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you are probably one of these lovely human beings. Now, you’re probably thinking that you hug all of your friends and these things I call “acts of kindness” are no big deal. You probably don’t even think about them- they just kind of happen. Some people may call them irrelevant, but I guarantee if you have ever been having a bad day when you have to go out into the world, you know how much a seemingly little act of kindness can improve your mood.

With that said, I want to say thank you. To each person reading this whether it be big, small, old, young, I don’t care. You have each impacted my life in one way or another and you need to know that what you do is important. You have each been a light in the dark for me and I want to encourage each of you to continue to be the light that starts inside each and every one of us.  Picture this: Someone is wandering in the fog when, all of a sudden, they see a light. It’s small but beautiful; and for the first time in forever, they feel happy and they have hope. Soon they ignite, and another lost soul stumbles upon their light. One by one, people start to catch fire.  Before you know it, the entire city is lit up and it’s all because of you.

We are all lights in the dark. We have to make the choice to use our unique light in a positive way – like a lighthouse that guides people to safe shores, or the moon that shines down on someone in their darkest hour. We can be those lights that guide them to safety – to better days. Shine brightly for those who have lost their way in the storm. Use your story to help another person continue their own. So, what are you waiting for? You can turn someone’s life around. You can set the world on fire.

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