I was with one of my friends the other day, just nipping to the shops near her home.
There was a homeless guy begging just beside the supermarket. My friend called him by name, and had a brief chat with him about how his day was going, where his dog was etc. She clearly knew him, and he her.
Then we passed an older man at a bus stop, where she paused and congratulated him on a recent achievement of his. He had some clear health challenges that might have put some people off interacting: my friend patiently chatted with him, and he with her.
It’s clear that my friend is passionate about everyday love. She doesn’t just love people to impress others – so that other people can see and applaud her. She does it everyday, when nobody sees, and makes it part of her day.
Yes, her walk to the local shop might take longer than most. Yes, she’s possibly not clear on how to help these individuals practically with their difficult life situations. But – that doesn’t stop her doing something.
What a challenge to us. I’m often so busy with my own plans that I don’t take the time to see people, let alone chat to them or show genuine interest in them.
Who knows what impact my friend is having in these lives? And I wonder what she feels in her own life – perhaps a “feel good” about doing something rather than nothing, perhaps she’d be oblivious if I asked her, as it’s just a natural overflow of how loving she is.
She’s an everyday leader – unaware of the impact that her way of living has on others. Could this be something we all aspire to be? We are all leaders because we all influence others.
Sally Beveridge, LEAD Development Director