One Roller Coaster, One Defining Moment

When I was a kid (maybe 12?), my parents took us to Six Flags amusement park. It was awesome! There were tons of amazing rides and delicious junk foods… We had a blast! My dad and I decided to wait in a giant line to ride the biggest roller coaster they had at the time, I don’t remember what it was called, but the line was massive.

It zigged and it zagged and it allowed people who were way ahead of us in line to sometimes stand right beside us. I remember there was this girl – she was a few years older than me, standing in line, ahead of us – but beside us, you know? She looked miserable. Her arms were crossed, she was staring at the ground, no one in her group was talking to her… My heart sank and I decided to make it my mission to catch her eye and smile at her before we got on the ride.

She was so set on staring at the ground that it took awhile to complete my mission. But FINALLY, success. I caught her eye, and grinned at her.

Now, I’m not saying that she perked right up and smiled back and had a great time after that, but she did return a small smile and lifted her head for the remainder of the time she was in line. I think about this moment and that stranger a lot because I truly believe that was a defining moment in my life.

After that moment I made a decision to try to make every person I come into contact with feel better after I leave them. Am I always successful? No. Do I have my bad days? Yes. But it is a conscious decision I make with every interaction.

When you smile at someone, at a stranger, you never know if that might be the only smile they will see that day. When you treat a cashier with respect or compliment their earrings, you don’t know if those are the first kind words they’ve heard all day. When you tell someone that they matter, you don’t know how crucial those words might be to their heart and well-being.

I am so thankful for the humans in my life that have poured love and positivity into my spirit and my heart. It is my hope that, with everything currently going on in the world, people can choose to put aside differences, respect one another, and most importantly…

love each other.Life in the Burrow


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