When Gil was 37 years old, the doctors told him, “It’s cancer, and it’s bad. You have one month to live.”
He accepted the diagnosis, and prepared himself to die.
The stranger lying in the hospital bed next to Gil had other ideas.
“What are you in for?” The stranger asked.
“Cancer,” said Gil. “I have one month.”
“That’s what they said to me, too, when I was about your age. Guess how old I am now?” he asked.
“65?” said Gil. The stranger looked youthful and vibrant.
“Nope,” the stranger said. “I’m 85 years old. I’m in here for just a few days, and then I’ll be out. So will you. Hang in there, kid.”
That was nearly forty years ago. Gil is very much alive.
Thanks to a stranger who said just the right words, at just the right time.
Kevin was exhausted and sick of being a teacher.
Nobody respected him, most of his students were hormone-addled terrors, and retirement felt like the only option.
Then he went to a rock concert — starring his all-time favorite musician. He wore a t-shirt that he’d printed himself.
After the show, he walked up to the rock star and said, “We study your lyrics in my classes. My students love your music, and so do I.”
The rock star looked at him and said, “I have so much respect for teachers. You are the real revolutionary. I just sing about revolution — you’re creating it.”
Kevin’s heart almost stopped. He didn’t quit. He’s still teaching to this day. And he loves it, too.
Thanks to a rocker who saw the true star in the room.
Dale wasn’t sure she wanted to be an opera singer anymore.
It was her passion, her dream, her calling — but some of the people she trusted told her to stop.
“It’s a hard life,” they said. “Long nights, tough rehearsals, weeks on tour, on the road … that’s no way to live. Especially when you’ve got a child.”
Then she met a young attorney who loved opera more than just about anything in the world. He asked her to sing. She did.
He said, “You have a beautiful voice. It’s a gift. Don’t quit.”
She didn’t. She went on to have an illustrious career, singing at some of the world’s legendary opera houses, playing the leading roles.
Oh, and she married that guy. (He’s my dad.)
Never underestimate the power of a perfectly timed compliment … a word of encouragement … a moment of truth.
Just the right words. Just the right time.
A blog post can rock someone’s world.
A heartfelt email can create miracles.
A sentence can alter somebody’s destiny.
If you feel them, say them.
Don’t hold back.
You never know who is aching — even dying — for the words in your heart.
PS. Who needs your words, today? What will you say?