We often think that to make a difference in the lives of others, or to experience the same in our lives; it needs to manifest as a grand gesture or experience. We punctuate each other’s lives in a myriad of ways, from simple to significant.
People, like punctuation marks, come into and out of our lives on the daily. We may or may not notice the small and everyday ways that we all intersect, interact, and intertwine with one another.
Most often, we see comma people. These are the folks who come along and enable us to pass through to the next verse in the script of our lives. Commas mark a slight break between the different parts of a sentence, even if the statement itself has cohesion.
We may bump into a comma person with a kind word when we need to shift mental gears or a lesson as we transition to our next phase of life, and then they are gone. Most of us weave in and out of each other’s lives in a “comma” sort of way.
They are the stepping stones along our paths, and sometimes we don’t even realize the magnitude of the gifts they bring.
From time to time, life hands us, period people. Not always pleasant, we may find ourselves coming to a screeching halt when they enter our lives. Periods cut through sentences like a knife. They clarify, create room to pause and absorb, and often lead to a brand-new thought or chapter.
We may not always appreciate the period people in our lives when we encounter them, but usually, down the road, we understand the lesson that came because of them.
Sometimes period people cause us to pivot in ways that spur us into a new course of action. In the end, a period person turns into a question mark and offers us a chance to examine the situation and approach it with much-needed curiosity. Periods may bring something to a close, but there is always the opportunity to draft the next paragraph. The choice is ours to make.
Once in a great while, we come across life’s exclamation marks! They deliver the WOW! They offer the epiphany, life-altering, mind-blowing inspiration, messages, or level of commitment that makes us rise to our inner greatness. As in grammar, they express excitement, passion, and emphasize everything they do.
They live their ‘why”, create their “what,” and never mess with the “how’s.” In the face of disruption, these people keep moving forward. Stepping out in faith, they believe the waters will part, and if they don’t, they swim right through them. Mistakes are lessons, failures are another chance to try, and when they fall, they take time to breathe, recalibrate, and get back up again.
Hands outstretched, they entice us to come along for the ride, have plenty of encouragement to go around, and add a depth of color to our lives that is simply unforgettable.
We all have a chance, every day, to be part of someone’s story. We can help them write a verse that will move them along in their journey, or inadvertently cause them to slam their book shut in dismay.
Punctuate life in such a way that your text is a beautiful contribution to the world around you.
What will your mark be?