Last week was a tough week. It was tough emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even physically. I doubt I need to remind anyone why. Well, out of the blue, I received a message on LinkedIn from someone I have neither seen, nor spoken to since the Summer of 1991. I've pasted it below, altering names and such, out of respect for the sender:
"Bryan, you don't know me. But, I have THE most random thing to share with you! My 13 year old son was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic. We were riding home from his endocrinology appointment when he started to share some of his fears about diabetes with me. One of the things he hates is that if he's with his buddies, and everyone's drinking soda, he has to grab a diet soda. He hates having to track his blood sugars, monitor his weight and carb intake, exercise etc. Anyway, during our talk I shared with him memories of a young man I remembered meeting during summer school many years ago. The young man was very distinguished (even at such a young age). He seemed to be kind of a loner. Soft spoken. Neatly dressed. Well, this one particular day at break, I noticed he was drinking a Diet Coke. I remember asking why he chose it, and he shared that he was diabetic. I couldn't believe it. I'd never met anyone so young with diabetes back then. Can you guess who that guy was? Yep. You. I told my son that I never knew your last name, what high school you attended, or where you ended up. As the law of attraction would have it, a few days after our conversation, I was on linked in and your picture appeared. I scrolled down, read further, and connected the dots that it must be you. Craziness!
Congratulations on everything! I've read some of your blog entries. Truly inspiring! I just want to encourage you to keep doing what you are doing. You never know the impression you may have on someone else's life. You have a voice, and I hope you continue using it. It's so great to see a man spewing truth and positivity, when there are so many other combinations of worthless words, broken English, and emojis floating around.
P.S...Warned you. I told you it was random. Lol!"
Not only did this lift my spirits, but it also reminded me of me. It reminded me of who and what my parents raised me to be; of good character. We stress to our kids to be of good character, to be respectful, as well as respectable. We never know who we are dealing with, at any given moment. It's not just your words that are seeds sown. It's also your actions and your very character. 25 years ago, a seed was sown, and it wasn't just what I said. It was how I simply carried myself. Oh how I wish that our younger generations would take heed. Oh, how I wish our children would take heed.
There is a scripture that I am reminded of, and I need to remind the youngans of it too: "Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares (Hebrews 13:1&2)." You never know what God is doing in your life. You never know what part of His will He may be working through and around you. Being humble is key to achieving anything God wants to use you for. For some of us, it's natural, while some of us have to make a conscious effort to stand up next to God, daily, and say "I see my place and how puny I truly am!"
You never know! You never know how your life can impact another's. I think about my diagnosis, that night in the Pediatric ICU, when Dr. Barial told me that I had diabetes. My very first thought after the invisible initial shock was Robert Lee Williams, Jr. He was diagnosed as Type 1 long before I was. Robert was at school every day, at recess every day, jankin' every day, laughing every day, and LIVING every day. That one thought gave me enough of a boost to NEVER be distraught about having diabetes, and to be a positive victor over it. Robert, God rest his soul, simply lived his life and that was good enough for me to trust that I'd be just fine!
Taylor, Taylor, Mattison, and Davyd, be mindful of the lives around you. Be respectful of the lives around you. Be patient with the lives around you. There are lessons to be learned, and ways of living to be contemplated at every turn in your life. Most importantly, be mindful of YOUR own lives and how you are living them. Will your lives, your actions, your love be remembered as abounding with good character or as lacking, to a degree of detestability? No one can be remembered as being of good character without living a life of good character. To know that someone remembers how good you were 25 years ago, should be a reminder of your past good, as well as encouragement to fuel that part of your being, for the present and future. Such can lift you out of any cloud of darkness that may be plaguing your mind, body, or soul.
Be not afraid of doing good, in a world of evil! Be not afraid to love, in a world of hate! Be not afraid, at all, of anything that comes against you! As with Bob Marley's statement, "Have no fear for atomic energy, 'cause none of them can stop the time.......", we should not fear the things our society has shown us! My eyes have shifted to the positive things I see amidst the crowds of the spiritually carnivorous. I see the white and black arms embracing one another. I see the Christians and Muslims side by side. I see souls of all walks, simply loving.
How will you be remembered 25 years from now?
You never know.......
Bryan Hollomon Williams