By Steve Goodier
African-American poet Countee Cullen spent the summer of his eighth year in
Baltimore, Maryland. Shortly after he arrived he noticed a little white boy
staring at him. Countee smiled, but the little boy did not smile back. Instead,
he stuck out his tongue and called him a "nigger."
Cullen later wrote a poem that included his recollection of the summer when he
was eight. In it, he says this:
"I saw the whole of Baltimore
from May until September.
Of everything that happened there
that's all I can remember."
As years wore on, the little white child most likely forgot the episode. He was
never aware of the pain he inflicted on a little eight-year-old boy. But the
truth is...everything counts. Everything. Everything we do and everything we
say. Everything helps or hurts; everything adds to or takes away from someone
Educator and writer Leo Buscaglia put it like this: "The majority of us lead
quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be
no tickertape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does
not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for
someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion,
our encouragement, who will need our unique talents. Someone who will live a
happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too
often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening
ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the
potential to turn a life around. It's overwhelming to consider the continuous
opportunities there are to make our love felt."
It's overwhelming to consider what might happen when we truly believe
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