As many of you know, my family lost my grandfather, Dr. Ali Samet, last Sunday, and although this time has been spent in grief and deep support, it has also been filled with a unique sense of inspiration.
My mind has been racked in thoughts of impact and what that means to all of our lives. For context, I’ll tell you a bit about my grandfather. He was an incredible man, who dedicated his whole life to service. He worked as a doctor to heal the world as much as he could, to the best of his ability. He served as a physician throughout many cities in clinics and hospitals all through his life and well beyond his retirement. Much of his medical service was provided voluntarily to those who could not afford healthcare. And much of his earnings were spent buying medicine and treatments for those who could not afford it. He raised all of us with a deep sense of responsibility to the world. His impact through generosity rippled into the lives of everyone he helped in his life. He is remembered in the most loving way and people are better for it.
He taught us to look at our lives and our skills and see how we can use the precious time we have on earth to serve others and make the world a more loving place. He taught us that in sharing service with the world, we save the world piece by piece. I want to have you consider the impact of every kindness. When you think of kindness, do you think of anyone in particular? That person shaped the way you express your kindness. That person is now you. Kindness is learned and generated and infectious. Kindness holds incredible impact. For every grace, we offer to the world, the world gets a bit softer and more loving. More love, more love, more love. When we are treated with kindness we are one hundred times more likely to pass it on, because that is the nature of who we are! Kindness wins always.
These were just some principles he stood for. He made every single moment of his life count. He never raised his voice ONCE, and we never saw him get mad and I always thought it kind of strange until now. Now I realize that we all have SUCH impact. I had strangers approach me after his passing telling me of his generosity, service, and kindness and I realize that his impact is lasting. I will teach who he was to my children someday, and they’ll never meet him directly. Every single action and interaction we have ripples widely and has profound effects on the world. So take this message to heart when I promise you that your life is valuable and deeply important. Your life is significant and meaningful and filled with potential. Every interaction you have, from what you do for a living to how you treat someone serving you your morning coffee makes a WORLD of a difference. The world has been given to you through the form of your life. It is your choice to use it to fulfill a purpose. And may your purpose be loving and kind.
Truly, my prayer is that we all remember that Baba (my grandfather) has woven himself so beautifully in the fabric of all of us here and the world he interacted with. May we take his memory and choose to live by his example of grace. May we choose love more often. May we forgive each other and hold each other close. May we remember that we are all the same love and treat each other as such. May we be graceful and kind. May we give generously. May we all love each other more. And most importantly, may we remember that all that we are is important, meaningful and deeply impactful. Who you are is making an incredible difference in the world you interact with; and for this reason alone, it is so important to choose love, ALWAYS.