To the strangers.

Strangers

To the strangers.

I know some great people. Unique people, people who want to change the world. They have challenged me in many, many ways.

But then there are the strangers.

The ones whom I haven’t met. I don’t know their name, and many I have never even spoken with. But I’ve seen them, here and there, and in those small encounters, they have unknowingly helped shape my perspective on life. They are the people who fill those moments you remember forever. Sometimes you know why, they have done something that many people have noticed, that many people will remember. But sometimes you don’t know why they made such an impact….you just know something about them was different.

To the woman in the dressing room the other day, who laughed with her little girl as they tried on bathing suits. She laughed with her daughter when a suit didn’t fit, and laughed with her daughter when one did fit.

“This one doesn’t look good!! haha! I don’t like this one!” and then a few moments later…

“Mommy looks gooooood in this doesn’t she?”

I never saw them. I just heard their voices as I tried on clothes in the next room.

I want to be a mom like you. Reflect a positive self image to my daughter and laugh…through the good, AND the bad bathing suits.

dressing room

To the woman on the cruise ship I saw holding the belt buckle of her little toddler looking over the railing. She protected him, but still allowed him to look over the edge and be adventurous. I hope my children always feel safe with me, but I hope I allow them to be brave.

To the woman I met the other day, who got news from the doctor that she may loose the child in her womb, who feels it’s her mission to encourage others, and promote the message of hope. I am so challenged to live whole heartedly because of you. I saw true beauty in you that I have never seen before.

To the woman at the conference who spoke on a microphone and shared her story to hundreds of people. Very personal intimate details about her life, her choices, and her mistakes. Thank you for laying down your pride, and allowing others to see what true vulnerability is. I hope in my life I will be as unselfish as you.

To the woman working in the nursing home when I brought my sister coffee at work. I saw you handle the residents carefully with respect. Thank you for not rushing through your work. I hope to honor others the way you do.

To the woman at the ceremony, who lost her children in the storm. You locked eyes with me and smiled sincerely… I have never seen true strength before then. I hope I am as unmovable, as unshakable, and as strong as you are.

It is those instances, those glances, and those words spoken from strangers that sometimes carry the power to change your life. These remarkable women whom I have observed, walked past or over heard display to me that strength, beauty, and wholehearted living, is loudly lived whether they realize it or not.

I hope I live my life in a way that speaks to the strangers. That carries hope and life in my daily actions, my side conversations, my glances, and my presence.

Thank you to the strangers.

You are noticed.

You are heard.

Written by Heather Parady. Heather is a full time student at the University of Central Arkansas working towards her Masters in Mental Health Counseling. She is the owner/photographer for www.RoehPhotography.com and a blogger at www.HeatherParady.com. She loves her family, traveling, and food. She also believes that the television show “The Office” is the best thing that has ever happened to her.

Written by Heather Parady.
Heather is a full time student at the University of Central Arkansas working towards her Masters in Mental Health Counseling. She is the owner/photographer for www.RoehPhotography.com and a blogger at www.HeatherParady.com. She loves her family, traveling, and food. She also believes that the television show “The Office” is the best thing that has ever happened to her.

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