As a first time author, I certainly didn’t expect that my book would make it to the New York Times Best Seller list. I dreamed instead that my book would resonate with people who needed it. Folks who were perhaps grieving from their own loss, searching for their own path or simply wanting more meaning from their day to day life. I often envisioned mothers who like me hoped to influence their family through action. As with so many parts of this journey, I have been blessed by so many small, simple opportunities. Opportunties to meet authors I have read and adored in person. Unique and special moments with readers. Connecting with children, young adults and seniors around the book and the ideas I shared.
Last week, I had another one of these simple moments when I received an email out of the blue from a young women in Montrael who had picked up a used copy of my book last summer in Toronto. She wrote that she’d loved the book and had just recently lost a dear old family cat and coincidently would be in Oregon the very next weekend for a conference and would love to meet me if I was available. She was somewhat apologetic when she asked me if I could meet, worried that she would be taking some of my precious time to connect. Perhaps I am naive or don’t VALUE my time but I felt honored that she had written to ask to meet me and luckily did actually have some time available to meet her during her conference in Portland. Let’s just say that the meeting was incredible for both of us. I think we both felt that although we are from different generations, we speak the same languague of mitzvahs, synchonicity and the value of connection.
In my book, I say that I didn’t set out to save the world. I don’t even profess that any of my 1,000 small actions stand out as particularly important or life-changing. But I will assert that each of them made a small impact, and that cumulatively they have changed my life. Connecting with a reader who reached out to me from 3,000 miles away to meet me when she was in my town might seem crazy, but it is exactly these seemingly simple interactions with a “stranger” now a new friend that makes life incredible. Even though we didn’t know each other before, now we are connected. Two human beings who are no longer strangers to each other.
Who will you meet today who will make a difference in your life? Will you be ready and available for the opportunity? Will you possibly go out of your way for it to occur? Author, Erin McHugh whose new book One Good Deed shared a great post on her blog several days ago about a simple incident that made her heart full. Perhaps like Erin, it’s the person near you on the bus or airplane. Perhaps it’s someone you already see frequently but have yet to have a dialog with, a neighbor, a store employee or someone else.
A book in a bookstore is one thing but a book in the hands of a reader who connects with it in ways you expected or didn’t expect is valuable beyond any best seller status. Feeling very, very lucky and blessed this week after my wonderful meeting.