Around Thanksgiving I was watching Good Morning America. One of their guests that day was a woman who described herself as being a misfit: overweight, awkward and bullied throughout her high school years. Not surprisingly she started college with pretty low expectations. Actually it was more like dread….of more of the same. She said she didn’t look like much and couldn’t afford nice clothes…she would just spend her college days “hiding” like she had previously.
But then she met a guy at college who was nice to her…he invited her along to hang out with friends. He actually liked her sense of humor and was just a great friend. She went on to described how his befriending her and showing her kindness gave her confidence she’d never had before…it transformed her life. She added that she didn’t know if she would still be alive without the hope his “just liking who she was” gave her.
She had not seen this guy since college…but when she saw GMA’s invitation to viewers to write in for a chance to come on the show and say thanks to someone she seized the opportunity. That morning this unsuspecting fellow thought he was going off to a meeting or something…and ended up on national TV being surprised by this old college friend. A person showing deep gratitude…and incredible courage and vulnerability, might I add…for the kindness he had shown.
His reaction was priceless…
He stood before a live audience with the cameras rolling–and looked humble. He came off so real and kind and expressed that he just treated everyone that way…he liked her and accepted her. It certainly made a real difference.
Now you don’t have to go on national TV…and it’ll probably be a lot less awkward if you don’t… but why don’t you take a moment to show your appreciation to the people who have done or said something that made a real difference in your life.
And, how about being the kind of person who is looking out for people around you who want to fit in…and seeing what there is to like, and accepting them. Helping them to realize they have tremendous worth as a person…and that they have unique qualities that you value in a friend.
“Live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:2 NCV*
A facebook friend posted the link for the “Validation” video…if you are not among the million people who have already watched it on Youtube…check it out. It’s pretty good.
“When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need–words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.” Ephesians 4:29 NCV*
*[ NCV…New Century Version; Thomas Nelson, Inc. ]