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Happy New Year!

As I reflect on 2012, I contemplate on whether I have made a difference in someone’s life.  I want his world to be better off by my presence.  Someone might say, “You are a doctor.  Of course, you made a difference in someone’s life!”  I would like to think that in some way the advice that I have provided has had a positive impact on someone’s life.  It always warms my heart when a patient sends me a note to tell me that she finally scheduled that mammogram that she has been putting off for years or to say that she has lost the 10% of her current weight that I advised. 

When I think about making a difference, I am referring to those actions that become an indelible component of the fabric of this world’s peace, love and kindness.  I believe we are made in God’s image.  Have I acted in a way that adequately represents the image of the Creator?  Is it enough to only impact others within the capacity of my job or should I think beyond those confines?

Approximately 2 weeks before Christmas, my husband, daughter and I were eating at a restaurant in Mishawaka.  The server told us that a couple paid our bill.  We were so surprised!  Complete strangers had so much kindness and generosity in their hearts that they wanted to share it with my family.   In a time when families are struggling to put food on the table and clothes on their backs, the fact that someone would sacrifice and share their resources with us has an even more profound meaning.  We were so grateful!

I came across a quote from John R. Wooden, a former basketball coach of UCLA.  He said, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”  So often, we get focused on what we cannot do.  I am not smart enough.  I am not rich enough.  However, we all have the power to be kind to those who are downtrodden.  We have the power to be courageous enough to speak up for someone who cannot defend himself.  We have the power to provide wisdom to someone who is wrestling with an internal conflict.  The gifts that we possess do not need to be monetary.  In fact, giving non-tangible gifts can have the potential of a more lasting impression on someone’s life.

I charge each and every one of you to think about how you can make a difference in someone’s life in 2013.  Reach deep within and embrace those qualities that have been given to us in the image of our Creator. 

Happy New Year!

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