When Will I See It?
The nearest star to Earth is the sun. It takes a little over eight minutes for the light from the sun to reach us. The next nearest star is Proxima Centauri, which is 4.22 light years away. That means when you look to the night sky and see that star, the light you are seeing was generated four years ago. For a high school senior, that means when they were in eighth grade*. If we look up at Polaris (The North Star) tonight, the light we see was generated over 400 years ago. That means about the same time the microscope was invented, and Shakespeare was writing sonnets, Polaris was generating the light we see today. So what does that mean for me? Today? That means when you do something to add value to somebody today, you may not see the result of the value you added any time soon. You may NEVER see the result of the value you added, but you add it anyway. You add it anyway because you know that adding value to somebody today will result in them adding value to somebody else on another future day, and investing in somebody today for a future return is worth it. *Think about a teacher or a coach or any other adult who believed in you when you were in 8th grade. Think about how they made you feel. They did not add value to you expecting to get a thank you. They just did so someday you would pay it forward. If you can, you should consider reaching out to thank them for making a difference in your life. Think about the possibility of one intentional act of kindness reaching somebody on the other side of the world a decade after the original act was received. You don't serve others to see the results today. You serve others because it is the right thing to do, and by doing so, you are leaving people and places better than you found them...like you should. You add value because in an increasingly dark world in which we live, it may be the only light shared with that person-today or any other day. Be the light today. Make an intentional effort to add value to somebody today, and recognize the light that others have shone on you. Smile! You are a star!
(For further potentially inaccurate historical findings from the era of time from approximately 433 years ago, go here: http://www.fsmitha.com/time/ce16-9.htm)
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Dan and Amy Allen are Educators and Advocates for Students.