One hand shot in the air…I was impressed at the excitement on the child’s face.  Nodding to her, she proudly proclaimed “He was that guy with a dream….”  Well yes he was, I replied and I couldn’t help but smile at my bright 3rd grader. He had a big dream to make the world a better place and I, of course, look to the everyday occurrences that make our lives a better place.  Like looking outside my window on a snowy morning and mysteriously my car has been cleaned off by a neighbor…..or calling my best friend to rant about the ills of the world to have her simply listen, taking the time to affirm my anger, or tears, or whatever mood that has boiled up inside of me and needs releasing.  It makes me a better person because someone stops, listens, and cares.  Then a homeless fellow, who wanders the streets of a Maine city, wanders into a shop to get warm.  He stutters badly, he is in need of a hot shower, but the man working stops what he’s doing and patiently listens to the man, gently helps him with the words that get stuck, and genuinely listens.  As the homeless fellow turns to leave he smiles and the man who was working, reaches into his pocket and presses a 10.00 bill into his rough, chapped hand. ” Nice talking to you”, he says and points to the restaurant across the street. “My break is in 15 minutes…why don’t I meet you over there and we can grab some lunch.”  There are so many ways that we can still make a difference today and the world needs it…we need it….to appreciate the complexity and uniqueness in people, learn from them, grow from them and keep paying it forward so to speak.  We all have a dream and mine is no doubt different than yours.  It comes from hard work, disappointments, blessings and challenges.  We stumble, we fall, but miraculously we pick ourselves up and continue on with our own personal dream.  Look around you this weekend, take in all the beauty and splendor, your neighbors, the birds, your family. Whatever brings you joy, take it in and embrace it, pledging to recognize the goodness in all things and looking for those opportunities to move your own dream forward.

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