This is a line taken straight from an essay I wrote to answer questions from a magazine writer a while back that both then and now, I consider to be a huge compliment:
“I was pleased to be told in high school by a friend, Tara, that other students thought I acted in a way that didn’t provoke people to feel sorry for me.”
In other words, instead of caving in to the illness I had & expecting other students to take pity on “poor sick Amy,” I behaved in a way that showed my strength & commitment to fight courageously with all my might. Tara’s comment wasn’t meant to do so, but it gave me a wonderful feeling to, essentially, learn that my positive attitude fighting cancer was being noticed & was encouraging to my peers. At the time, I had no idea anyone was paying any attention to my actions.
What I took away from Tara’s words is that people are watching your actions even when you’re unaware of it, so there’s a good chance you have a stronger influence than you think. Being aware of that fact alone encourages me to always try – although I realize we all stumble – to act positive, how ’bout you?