Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Flip The Help Switch

A few weeks ago I witnessed Brian Williams of NBC reporting that many Americans (and viewers of the NBC Nightly News) were fatiguing on all the bad news heard day in and day out and that viewers wanted to see and hear good news too! Well, NBC took this criticism seriously and began devoting the end of each newscast with a segment entitled “Making a Difference”.

Each evening NBC and Brian feature several stories of “Random Acts of Kindness” from Americans throughout our country. Several times, I’ve been moved to tears at the amazing selfless acts made by our friends and neighbors. (You may view many of the stories aired on "Making A Difference"...see the link on the right).

I got to thinking….what if each day…each of us performed at least one random act of kindness? I’ll bet most of us do so already, but if by making this daily plan paramount ….as routine as your grocery list..... could we change a life?

Eggs, milk, cereal, random act of kindness, laundry soap….

Imagine the possibilities? Imagine the difference we may make in the life of someone in need?

Last week, I responded to Voices.com requesting an audition for a business in Cleveland Ohio. When I reviewed the details of the project and the business…I noted the client indicated;

(Paraphrasing) “Due to the economy our business is really struggling. This commercial is our last attempt at advertising to hopefully generate enough business to continue to provide our service to our customers and keep our staff employed“.

I could not help but flash to the NBC “Making a Difference” reports and the many wonderful ways people have helped one another.

I sent in my audition and I included a note to the client in which I indicated that my services had been offered at no charge. A few hours later, the client contacted me in amazement. “No one has ever offered such a thing for me… she said. Thank you so much!” Hearing her sincerity really made me feel great, too.

I voiced the commercial with the knowledge that this business owner was extremely grateful for my service and talent…..but was also relying on me to help make a difference with her business.

Maybe you viewed this past Sundays (April 5th) CBS “60 Minutes”. One of the featured stories was that of a public hospital in Nevada which had to discontinue treating cancer patients (without insurance) because of a lack of funding. Believe me, this was truly a heart wrenching story showcasing several (among many) average Americans who literally may die because of they have no way to pay to receive essential treatment!

One of the Physicians who had been treating patients at the hospital (which was no longer offering the service) decided to take matters into his own hands and open his own service for cancer patients. He invited all the patients who had been displaced by the public hospital to receive help at no charge. “Pay what you can” he offers. “We’ll take care of you”. He has jars and boxes throughout the city asking for donations too. It is selfless people like this physician that may be the angels on Earth.

I guess for many of us it takes a catastrophic event such as the collapse of the world economy to flip on the “help” switch inside.

Will you flip your help switch to on?

Will you take my challenge? Make a “Random Act of Kindness” into one of your daily routines?

Let me know your stories too…I’d love to share them.

Inside Studio A ……. I’m James Herron

Thanks for forwarding my pieces to your friends and linking to your websites and boards.

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