When someone tells me that their words don’t matter, I kind of lose a little piece of me. My students think that they don’t have anything to say. Or that no one would want to read what they have to say. And I tell them that they could not be more wrong, that every word that is ever written has the potential to mean something (or everything) to someone else. I let them know that they have the power to change their own lives, futures, and destinies through the words they use. I share with them how writing saved my life (which I am pretty sure I have shared here, yet am too lazy to look for at this time. I will check and see), and that writing has the ability to do the same for them.
Beyond that, everyone has the ability to touch another life. It does not matter how long you know someone, how well you know someone, or if you even know them at all. I think that a lot of my hope in the human race comes from knowing that we are all interconnected and that each of our actions affects someone else, no matter how small. I’d like to think that I do good things in this world; I am never sure if I am being honest. I’d like to believe that I positively impact my children, my students, my family, my friends. I’d like to believe that at the end of my life, when I reach Heaven, God will look at me and say, “Well done.” But I don’t know. I can only do what I do, for as long as I can, and hope that it’s enough. I know people who have lived on this planet for a long time and touched very few lives, and I know people who haven’t been here long at all and change lives permanently.
Which leads me to my point here in all of this. And it comes back to Ainsley, my hero. I wrote about her Wednesday night after her touching memorial. And I kind of let everything I have been feeling flow onto the internet in a massive, sobbing, ugly cry post. Well, friends, those words matter. I have heard that those words helped others: helped them gain perspective, helped them express their own feelings when they didn’t have the words, and were exactly what they wanted to say themselves. And I also have this to share: from Wednesday around 10PM to right now, Friday at 10:30PM, 14 people have found my blog by Googling “Ainsley Knepper” (or Ainsely Knepper, as it was for some). 14. Wow.
That, my friends, is power. It isn’t power because I gained readers (but hello, welcome, I hope you stick around). But it is power because right now, if you go to Google and type that angelic name in, I am the fourth link down. The fact that Ainsley touched so many lives that people GOOGLE her is incredible. She lived a very amazing, yet very short time on this planet, but she did enough to touch the world and set many courses of life onto other paths. She changed so many people’s lives, outlooks on life, and general perceptions on human kind and kindness. She did it all from a hospital. With her trademark grin and NOMable cheeks, she turned hearts to warm mush and faces into beaming grins of hope and laughter. In only a little over 16 months, she did more for those who knew her story and loved her than many politicians do in years of reign: she made us all better. She improved us, truly improved each of us. That, my friends, is why she is my hero. And the best part? Only now, in watching us from Heaven, is she able to really realize the impact she had. There is no way she could have known all of this when she was just fighting to breathe and making everyone around her smile. Now, she can see it. And now she can realize, and appreciate, the effects that just seeing her face had on each of us, all of us, the world over who followed her story. When we pass, we will get that chance, also. Doesn’t that make you just tingle? It gives me chills, to be honest. And hope.
So, if you ever feel like you don’t matter. Or that your words won’t touch someone deeply. Or that your presence isn’t meaningful to another person, I challenge you to forget that thought immediately. Because EVERY person matters. No matter how old, how young, how gay or straight, how white or black or anything in between: we all matter. The saying is, “to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world,” and that is no joke.
Just remember, we are all in this together.
And if the awesome, yet incredibly short, life on this earth of an amazing person like Ainsley can touch people the world over,
imagine what YOU can do with your life, right now, to do the same.