As I child, I relished the moment when we went to the five and dime store and strolled down the candy aisle. My parents would walk along the shelves lined with sweet delicacies; I, on the other hand, skipped happily in an adolescent wonderland! There were chocolate bars, hard candy, and sweet-encrusted nuts of all varieties. Invariably, my eye would turn to the uppermost shelves where endless tubes of Lifesavers innocently awaited the embrace of my eager small fingers.
Bending over to pick up shards of foil paper from the now opened package, I would soon find myself lagging behind my mother and father. I would stand in the busy parking lot, completely oblivious to the dangers of myopic old women behind the wheel of dented vintage station wagons! My attention was focused solely on the rings of sweet candy lined up carefully in a long sticky roll.
As much as I hate to date myself, I am a child of the Sixties. At that time, there were just a few varieties of Lifesavers; my favorite being the five flavor variety. My young taste buds knew the flavor of lemon, lime, cherry, and pineapple well; but it was the coveted orange flavor that I looked forward to the most! There were occasions when the prized orange ring was found at the beginning of the roll. Other times, I would put the other four flavors in my pocket until I found a piece of the elusive orange candy!
Earlier this week, I received an unexpected comment in response to one of my blog posts. I genuinely value each and every comment that I receive. The fact that somebody would take the time to read my blog is reward enough; but when the reader takes time to share their reaction with me, I am elated. It is gratifying to learn that I might have helped somebody better their view of themselves. Oftentimes these contributors will even share a glimpse into their own lives. It is at that moment that my writing allows me to connect with the world. It is the most fulfilling experience I could ever hope for!
I have never had a blog comment upset me, until a few days ago. This person took the time to inform me that my blog post had somehow saved her life. Those were the exact words, “You saved my life.” There was very little added detail shared. The writer of the comment let me know that they had somehow been looking for a “solution” and that they found it in my humble words, published on the Internet!
My sole reason for writing is to share a gift that I have been blessed with. For some reason I am able to draw the deeper meaning out of everyday events and situations. By sharing my unique insights, I hope to inspire other souls to better the world they live in. Never did I sign up to save somebody’s life. After reading this particular comment, I was actually angry! Who had dared thrust me into this position of ultimate responsibility?
A little later, having tried in vain to let go of the entire episode; I found myself in a state of denial. Surely this person had meant “saved my life” in a figurative way. There must have been a situation, or state of mind, that I helped them overcome. I was tempted to respond to this person, asking how specifically I had saved their life. However, discretion and respect for her predicament kept my fingers away from the keyboard.
Over the course of the day, denial gave way to sympathy. I tried to think of times in my life where I had faced what looked like insurmountable obstacles. It would have been nice to read another person’s words and find solace in them. It would reconnect me to know that another person, even a stranger, cared enough to share their insights with me! If their words struck a chord deep within me, then perhaps I might believe that they had saved my life in some fashion.
Satisfaction is perhaps the sweetest of all human emotions. I felt a warm comforting flush flow through my body as I continued to think about the recent comment. It no longer mattered whether I had actually saved somebody from taking their life; or if they had just used those words to mean that I had given them a solution to something less dramatic. What mattered was that for a brief moment I connected with another human being halfway around the world and shared a piece of myself with them. I was unknowingly there for them when they needed me!
I was an adult before I realized the clever marketing ploy behind the brand name of Lifesavers. Somehow, citrus flavored rings of hard candy were equated with having one’s life saved. Now as an adult, I see that we all have the ability to “save someone’s life.” We may be an orange, a lime, a lemon, a cherry, or even a pineapple; but all of us contribute to that wonderful roll of candy. All of us are interconnected.
If my words somehow touch you, I am the better for it. If I am able to inspire you to better the world around you; then my very reason for writing has been fulfilled. If I am fortunate enough to help you change the way you feel about yourself, then I am blessed. By the way, I can assure you there will always be a tube of Lifesavers in my pocket; waiting for the day when you might need them.