I read a story on Humans of New York
this week from a young woman. She grew up in a family with an addicted Aunt and two older brothers known for criminal activities. She recounted a story of her first day in high school where the principal pulled her aside and said, “I know your siblings. We won’t tolerate that from you.”
She was devastated, and rightfully so. She spent her whole life trying to prove that she was different, only to walk into this bias. To prove he wasn’t right, this young woman poured herself into school and activities to become the first in the school’s history to qualify for the national speech competition.
At graduation, her principal admitted he made a mistake by judging her before he knew her.
Fast-forward 10 years, she became the speech coach at her high school. Jokingly to another teacher, she said that she never paid for activities. “No,” he said. “The principal and your teachers paid them all for you.”
Most favors you can only pay forward.
I cried reading that story because I’ve been the benefactor of quiet kindness. Because I’m grateful there are people in the world like those teachers that are willing to change their minds and a kid’s life. The story was a reminder that people will step up when they see someone who needs help. It’s a redemptive moment in a world of headlines that can seem so bleak.
It was also a reminder that behind those headlines are humans capable of changing each other’s lives by noticing each other. My grandmother called them guardian angels, but now I know it’s more than that. Paying favors forward is what keeps the world spinning.
I know it keeps my world spinning. When I feel myself sinking into negativity, I seek out ways to give. It feeds my spirit in ways reading a book or resting won’t do. So when I know I can help, I do it.
As someone who reads this letter every week, I want to help you. We’re friends, after all.
That’s why I’m giving away 3 LinkedIn rewrites this week, and have a few more giving campaigns in the works. When the world feels broken, I want to fix what’s in my reach. This week that looks like rewriting LinkedIn profiles.
I hope you’ll sign up for a chance at one of these. Could you share it with a friend, too?
Even if you don’t win one of the three coaching session, I’m working on something special just for everyone who registers. I know that having a better LinkedIn profile can give you a competitive advantage and make an impression that can change your life. Let me pay some favors forward to you.
I hope you’ll find a way to pay some favors forward this weekend while staying safe and healthy.
Until next week -