Abundant Living Vol. VIII, Issue 49

Never doubt the influence little actions can have on others.

The time I spent in the military was anything but distinguished. All I wanted to do was to fulfill my duty and get out as soon as possible; except there was this one funny obscure incident. It occurred during basic training when one evening after an especially grueling day we 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 particular evening I began to unconsciously hum a little tune. Then this guy next to me overheard it. “Hey man,” he said, “sing that a little louder.” Next thing I knew he started singing along. Then someone else chimed in, then another and another. Before long there was a whole chorus of naked boot camp buddies harmonizing in the shower. After that, night after night these guys would gather in the showers, think of songs they all knew, snap their fingers in rhythm, and entertain themselves as well as others who gathered around. We could have sold tickets.

Anyone who has endured the rigors of military training will identify with the importance of building camaraderie. It’s one of the objectives. Those guys who sang in the shower together became great comrades. You notice I said “those guys”, for I did not participate except that first night, although I was invited. I just did not feel I was good enough.

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 a little tune 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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