Abundant Living Vol. VII, Issue 46

Never doubt the influence little actions can have on others.

My undistinguished military career was anything but influential, except for one obscure, humorous incident. Once while going through basic training, exhausted from a particularly grueling day we had hit the showers early before retiring to our bunks for a few precious hours of sleep. Now, I’ve never been one to sing in the shower, but for some reason that evening I was quietly entertaining myself by humming a little tune when the guy next to me heard it and said, “Hey, man, sing that a little louder.” Next thing I knew he started singing along. Then someone else chimed in, then another. Before long there was a whole chorus of naked boot camp buddies harmonizing in the shower having the time of their lives. After that, they carried on night after night thinking up songs, snapping their fingers, laughing and singing their hearts out. Could they ever sing!

Anyone who has endured the rigors of military training will identify with the importance of developing camaraderie. It’s one of the objectives, I suppose. Those guys who sang in the shower together became great comrades. Although they invited me to participate, I was never really part of that group, not because I wasn’t welcome, I just couldn’t sing like they could.

We never know when the seeds we scatter will sprout into a tree, when some kind act or encouraging word will be a spark that ignites something greater. A pleasant “thank you” to a store clerk, making room for another motorist to move into your lane, a phone call to check up on a friend, a kind word to a fellow passenger on an airplane, a warm smile, or a friendly handshake – little gestures can make a huge difference. In my wildest dreams I would never have imagined that humming to myself in the shower would influence a whole chorus of boot camp comrades.

It just goes to prove . . . never doubt the influence little actions can have on others.

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