You never know what effects you have, on the lives of those you meet.

Everything we have, everything we are, and everything we think comes from the people around us. When you were born – a body given to you by another source, your mind was a white and empty canvas. There were no words or ideas, no prejudices or interpretations, no understanding of the world around you. From that day forward, every person you encountered added something of themselves to the canvas that was your mind. You learned words, and developed friends, and formed a framework of what was good and what was not, solely based on what others believed. Some ideas you accepted, mostly those provided by your parents, and other ideas you rejected. But all of who you became was based on what others provided.

The religion you grew up with was not yours, it was given to you by someone else who believed it, right or wrong. The openness of your heart towards others, or the anger you learned, also came from someone else. It was not yours. Everything, from education and work ethic, intellect and body type, fears and beliefs came from others you interacted with.  And this is true for every other living human being on this planet. You did not decide who you would be, what body type or skin color you would have, or where you would be born and into what circumstances. But here you are, and you are the deciding factor in how you go forward.

Now that I’ve got you thinking about this, consider the fact that every time you meet someone, you have an opportunity to contribute to their lives in a positive manner. This is a choice, it’s a decision that you make derived from the highest and most noble attributes you have gained, from all those in the past that have contributed to your life knowledge and experiences.

Your decisions and interactions can effectively change the course of history. The smallest gesture or smile can snowball over time into something great, something life changing. And you may never know that it’s origin came from you. As others contribute to who we are, to our moods and happiness, so we too can contribute to the betterment of those we meet from day to day.

So remember to go out of your way, to smile or chat a little more with the next person you meet. They too did not have a choice in who they are or where they came from, but you have a choice in contributing something positive to their life.