It just so happened Debbie's event was the next evening and in all truthfulness I almost didn't attend. I was still struggling with the question of what contributions I make to the world. I was feeling blue.
Debbie Macomber was lecturing at the Margaret Mitchell house and it's on my way home from work so I stopped in. I was late and ended up being one of the last people seated. I didn't have a good view but it didn't take a perfect seat to hear what Debbie had to say.
Debbie arrived just a few minutes after I got seated and she shared how she was dyslexic and didn't learn to read until she was ten years old. In dealing with a lifetime of negativity from her teachers and her parents, somehow she knew deep inside that she wanted to be a writer. She shared her poignant story about how she had submitted stories for publication multiple times only to get rejection letters. She spoke about how she had written a letter to Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking. He wrote her back. His letter of encouragement helped her persevere.
There were more rejections but because of a letter from Norman Vincent Peale and a family who believed in her, Debbie Macomber continued to try to get a book published and it worked! Just take a look at her book list. And guess what...Debbie's snail mail address is inside the front cover of all of her books. If you write her a letter, she will write you back. She shares in the same way that Norman Vincent Peale shared with her many years ago.
I was so moved by the whole event. I cried. Just 48 hours before this event I'd been singled out of a crowd and confronted with the question of what I was contributing to mankind. I'm still trying to answer that question but after meeting Debbie, what I realized is that the small things matter. Kindness matters. I might not be able to quantify what I'm adding to the world but I can tell you that encouraging other people, saying positive things and being a positive influence does make a difference in the world.
When we all lined up to get our books signed, Debbie took time with each of us to hear what we had to say and to take photos. I aspire to be an example of graciousness, goodness and positive influence, sharing my gifts with others in need. This is what I hope to add to the world, on my blog, with my family and in my community.
From the heart. Jojo