When she came out onto the stage she just stood there looking strangely confident and fearful at the same time. I’m pretty sure no one in the audience knew anything about her. Not one of us knew anything about her personally or professionally. No one had any idea of her story of life. Not just her life, but everyone’s life.
“This is an original song. I’m Night Bird,” she said in a gentle voice as she looked out against the lights glaring into her eyes.
For some reason, at that moment, I don’t know why, I thought of my friend Scott Banning as her words wafted into my ears.
“It was time for me to save myself,” Scott once said to me as he described the hard choices he had recently made in his life. “Some don’t do it in time. Then one day comes and their time has passed. They can’t turn their lives back toward safety and happiness. They don’t know how to get there anymore. They can’t see the path.”
Night Bird’s path was being sung to everyone in the audience. But, I don’t know if they heard her giving out the breadcrumbs that would allow them to save their own lives, to find personal happiness. I heard them though. They spoke to me as small pieces of truth, crumbs to follow toward saving my life and their lives too; to find happiness again, or for the first time.
Crumb One: Look outside. Or, maybe a better way of saying this is, don’t look through your own eyes without seeing. Become a witness to what others around you are doing, what they’re going through. Then, do small things to help in the moment. Give someone who has fallen a hand-up. Greet a passerby with a smile and a cherry hello. Catch someone else doing good.
Crumb Two: Look inside. Take time to feel grateful for everything you have. Try it. It will open you up to receive new opportunities. Or, maybe it will just open your eyes to see options to sing a new personal story, one not visible through cloudy eyes.
Crumb Three: Remember that everyone has a story. You and I just haven’t read it yet. Until we take the time to listen to another’s story it will remain unwritten in our hearts. The best way to create or deepen a relationship is to listen.
Crumb Four: Listening is the greatest sign of personal respect. It’s also the gateway to kindness. Who doesn’t want to be kind to someone else upon walking in their shoes for a while? It’s a proven conduit to empathy and catalyst to serving others.
Final Morsel: Go out and do small acts of goodness. Yes, if you haven’t followed these breadcrumbs before, the path they lead to can be scary! So, when you feel afraid ask, “What could this open up for me?” Then, pick up the first crumb and try it before you stoop down to accept the next one.
“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you start to be happy,” she said as her musical breadcrumbs came to a melodic crescendo with a roar from all listeners.
When she came out onto the stage she just stood there looking strangely confident and fearful at the same time. I’m pretty sure no one in the audience knew anything about her. Not just her life, but everyone’s life.
Is it time for you to save your own life?
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.