Never Underestimate the Impact You Have On Others Part 2

sad man


I heard the news this week that a friend of mine from high school had died.  His name was Terry Bryson.  In high school, Terry was teased a lot.  He looked like Barney Rubble from the Flintstones, so everyone called him Barney Bryson.  He hated that.  He would get angry.  He would lash out.  He started drinking heavily in high school.  I saw him drunk at parties on more than one occasion.  That’s what killed him.  At the end of his life, he was homeless and living under a lifeguard stand on a beach in Florida.  The authorities said that is was death by alcohol.  Although I wasn’t close to him, I was deeply saddened.

It made me think.  I felt ashamed that I had teased him along with the others.  I don’t blame myself for his death.  Everyone has choices.  But I keep wondering if someone had showed him some kindness, if someone had made a connection with him, if someone had taken some interest in him, would his life have turned out differently?  Simple phrases like “You’re not good at math.” or “You’re not very pretty.” or “You’ll always have big hips.” can shape how we think about ourselves and how we interact with the world.  So again, I ask you the question, “What impact are you making on the people you encounter every day?”  Do you lift them up, encourage them, help them move on from a difficult time?  Or do you criticize? Make fun?  Show them anger?

This is one of those things that is simple, but not easy.  We all have bad days and we all have our stuff and we all get off track and trample our fellow man at times.  But you can get back on track.  You can turn this around.  You can create impacts that have ripple effects far beyond what you can ever imagine.  And all it takes is one positive encounter with another human being.  Go forth and find that person today.



5 Responses to Never Underestimate the Impact You Have On Others Part 2

  1. fitz1 says:

    Great post Brent! Even if all we do is stop doing or saying 1 hurtful thing each day, we can make life easier for those around us.

  2. Maurice Carter says:

    Nicely said, Brent. We can’t look back with guilt or shame, for we were who we were then. But, in that moment we accept the power we have to bring something positive into the lives of others, that is the moment we must accept the responsibility to do so. Thanks for sharing that realization.

  3. Cathy Dodds says:

    Terry was always so sweet and kind. He was a good friend of my then boyfriend (later fiancé) and showed up in PCB on several trips I/we took. He always had a place to sleep. My heart is so heavy. I’m praying he had a family somewhere besides us PHS buddies. Regardless……. RIP Terry! I’ve thought about you hundreds of times over the years – I will miss you and your laughter, and smile and ability to pull a friend up when they’re feeling down!!!

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