Melinda is a dancer, a cancer survivor and the author of Grace: A Child's Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery.
could share 500 words of wisdom to summarize what I've learned so far in
life, these are the important things I'd want to pass along to
When one is brought to
the brink of death and back, he or she is suddenly exposed to new
perspectives and new values. In my battle with cancer, I learned an
endless number of lessons. If it was my last day, last hour, or last
minute on this planet, I would be overflowing with words to tell the
world. Because I would not have the time to tell them everything I would
want to share, here are the three most important to me...
The Time Is Now
So many of us get caught up in
the past or become anxious about the future. Really, we must live each
moment as it comes, accepting the past and having faith in the future.
"Now" is all we will ever have, and if we don't learn to recognize,
appreciate, and live "now", then our lives will miss out on a lot of
joy. When I was ill, I had to take life day by day and sometimes second
by second, and I realized the simplicity and beauty of life when lived
in this manner.
Little Things Make a Huge Difference
The world is bettered by the one
who helps the old man pick up something he dropped, the one who lets the
pregnant woman take their seat, or even the one who offers a quick
smile to a complete stranger. It is the small, even tiny, everyday acts
of kindness that circulate love around this harsh world.
You never know what people are
going through, and they may be hurting from something occurring in their
life. Just a smile can truly make their whole day and renew their
spirit to take on the challenges they face. I find that many people have
an "I'm never going to see them ever again anyway" attitude, but I have
seen firsthand the power of spontaneous acts of kindness. I have been
the giver, the receiver, and the observer...it is a beautiful thing.
Two simple words can bring on a
lifetime of happiness. Those two magical words are "thank you". So many
search for the "secret to happiness", when really, it is all around
them. Being grateful is at the core of happiness, and every single happy
feeling is created from gratitude for something in the world.
I cannot stress enough the
importance of being thankful, and I cannot describe the utter joy it
brings to my life. My difficult cancer journey has made me grateful for
things like walking, breathing, eating, laughing, and so, so much more.
If we can find joy in these everyday things, we will be amazed by how we
see the world-- by the happiness and love we feel spilling out of us.
Get this...whatever we chose to
appreciate in life will bring us joy. So why not appreciate it all? All
of this happiness, in turn, is passed from one thankful individual to
another, creating a more loving Earth and a more meaningful life for the
people in it.