Confucius Jackie: One of the best things you can give someone

is acknowledgment.

To start off the new year, it is a tradition by many to come up with New Year’s Resolutions. Some are successful and some are forgotten. Popular resolutions are “I will go to the gym” or “I will be a better person” and those are more than fine. In fact, I started going to the gym more often in the last few months, and I aim to continue that routine for the rest of my life.

My resolution is to acknowledge people more often. When I write that, I don’t necessarily mean that the acknowledgement has to be made on a public forum. A simple “hey, how’s it going?” can really brighten a retail worker’s day. Next time you exit a store, look over your shoulder. If there’s someone there, hold the door open for him/her and flash a smile. Words don’t have to be exchanged; it’s the gesture that matters most. If you receive a text from someone, don’t put off your reply for a few hours. Your reply may mean the world to that person.

One thing that I have come to realize this year is that some people are not as happy as they seem. Work or social settings require that they put a smile on their face, but it’s not genuine, it’s not real. Working with dog rescues for the past few years has taught me that you can’t save everyone, but you can make a difference for at least one life. And you never know when you may influence that life.

So what I will strive to do is try to be a positive influence on others, keep my temper in check, be helpful, and remind myself that everyone has a story. Whenever we cross paths with other people, we take something away from those interactions. Make those positive regardless of how short those interactions are. Your smile, your simple hello, your hugs, your words, your actions impact people around you whether you see it or not. If you believe that what you do means nothing to anyone, you couldn’t be more wrong. All that is needed to show you how important you are to others and vice versa is acknowledgment. Remember that.

Go into 2014 a better person even if you don’t accomplish all your resolutions. Make this year better. All of my hugs and love to you all. Happy New Year!

Confucius Jackie #1

Be the change you want to see in the world are words that I try to live by every day. Some days, I’m quite lazy, and I don’t get much done (staycations are awesome), but when I am active, I try to be the best influence on others I can be.

I received an email from a recently made friend, and it was very touching to me even though that was not the intended purpose of said email. I asked very simple questions about this person because we are collaborating on a project together. “Why this project?” and “what motivated you to start it?” I learned quite a bit about this person and what struck me the most was how seemingly random events tied together to bring us to where we are today. A lot of this was possible because people simply love helping others.

Be kind. Be generous. Be helpful. Be influential. That’s what I took from this email. The first part begins with you. YOU need to go out and ask for help. Nothing can be accomplished unless you take the initiative. But don’t worry when you do. There are others, people who have more experience in whatever field you choose to explore, that are willing to help you. It’s true that some “veterans” won’t bother with a level 1 n00b, but you will be surprised by how helpful and generous others will be. These people love to see newcomers thrive and bloom into their own all because they share the same love.

I love creative people. I love talking to them, collaborating with them, sharing ideas, basking in the love of making something out of nothing. And I will always try to help people who ask for my assistance. Even if I’m not personally able to help, I can hopefully point you in the right direction. The world is crappy enough as it is. Why not focus on the beautiful things we can create? There’s a lot of knowledge out there.

Even if your name is not widely known, you can still influence the people in your life. You may be great at something that someone else is not, and if they ask for your help, share your knowledge with them. Don’t degrade or belittle them because what they don’t know is common knowledge to you. Coach them, guide them, be a constructive and positive force. It can be anything. Perhaps you want to learn how to crochet or change a flat tire, or you want to write a book or start a webseries. Whatever your passion is, whatever it is you want to learn, be happy that there are people out there that want to see you succeed. You just have to make the first step and go for it.

The project I am working on with my friend mentioned earlier will be amazing. And I cannot wait to share it with you guys. And it all started because he had an idea, sought help to make it a reality, built a team, and refuses to see it fail. Those are the kind of people that make life awesome.