“For one moment our lives met – our souls touched.” – Oscar Wilde
At the National Postal Forum this year, I met former Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton. We were backstage before the final luncheon – I was part of a brief presentation, while Scott was the keynote speaker. He was very gracious posing for photos with anyone who asked.
Just when it seemed that the “meet and greet” was over, a woman came up and asked him for an autograph. Scott immediately said yes, and asked if she wanted it made out to anyone in particular. The beaming smile on her face revealed how much this moment meant to her.
After she left, I asked Scott if this ever got old. That just a photo, or a signature, could just make a fan so happy. He replied, “All they want, is a chance to touch my heart. Some celebrities push people away. Me …”, and then he opened his arms wide, “I let them in.”
This phenomena isn’t reserved for famous athletes and movie stars, or fans looking for a photo and an autograph. In our everyday lives, there are people who just want to touch our hearts. For a brief instant.
This isn’t about traditional love – familial, romantic or friendship. It may be an interaction with a complete stranger. It’s not even about physically touching another person. It’s about taking a moment to acknowledge someone. To recognize their needs, no matter how small.
Opportunities occur almost every day. We might:
- Listen to another person’s story – without judgement or comment.
- Lend a hand to someone in need.
- Express happiness for another person’s joyful experience.
- Remind someone about their true value – to you and the people in their lives.
- Share a hug – just because.
When we give of ourselves in this way, we must expect nothing back in return. Not even recognition for our deeds. This isn’t about getting something for ourselves, it’s about what we can do for others.
Yet sometimes, we get to witness the impact of our actions. The tears that had been held back too long. The expression of relief of not being alone. The jubilant smile. The genuine thank you. The wholehearted hug that can be felt for days. Gifts that far outweigh our efforts.
Today, or tomorrow, we’ll encounter someone who needs to touch our hearts. We can either push them away – or open our arms and let them in.