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One Person's Impact
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You never know how the smallest action on your part will have an enormous life-long influence on another person, especially a child.

When I was just turned 6, my mother and sister and I went to my mother's friend's house for Christmas. My mother had named me after her friend Sally and they were very close.

The previous Christmas I had given Sally's daughter Brenda a doll. Not a very expensive doll, but all we could afford. In post-war America, money was very tight.

That Christmas that I was 6, Brenda re-gifted the doll to me, full circle as it were, except that she had wrapped it in different paper (she was still wrapping it as we were divesting ourselves of our storm coats). I remember unwrapping it, then catching my mother's eye; her expression clearly communicating the message, "Say nothing about it!" To me, Brenda's re-gift needed no words. She told me clearly that I wasn't important enough to receive a real gift, nor to be thought about ahead of time.

But I learned a lesson that has remained to this day. Not so much about the obvious message of giving and receiving. But about the fact that sometimes our smallest action can have a big influence (especially on a child) and that it's important to be mindful of what we say and what we do to them. Truly mindful, because the least of these children has also the spark of the Spirit as does the child of privilege.

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