Words and Actions Matter More Than You Know

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influenceby Tim O’Hare

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When I decided to practice law, my primary motivation was the opportunity I knew I’d have to make a difference in the lives of others. At some point in each of our lives, we need someone to have our back — an advocate to stand up for us. That is what I want to be for each of my clients.

You don’t have to be an attorney to make a difference in another person’s life — each and every one of us are afforded opportunities on a daily basis to make a difference through our friendship, the way we care for others, and how we respond to someone who may find himself in a difficult situation.

Recently, I received a note from a past client, and his words to me were an encouraging reminder to keep doing what I’m doing, both inside my law office and outside in every day experiences. I hope you’ll find some inspiration in his words as well.

Backstory: This gentleman has led a rough life, even spending time in jail at one point. He came to me as the father of a young boy who was dying of cancer. His son had been given a prescription for pain medicine to help him cope with a tumor growing inside his head. The pharmacy mistakenly labeled the bottle with a dosage of 10 times the dose of medicine he was supposed to receive. After one dose, his son slipped into a coma and his parents were told to say goodbye. Miraculously, he recovered from this incident, but passed away a short time later from the cancer.

He writes:

“I hope that all is well with your family and practice. Again, I want to stress to you how much of an impact you have made on my life and the lives of my family. Reviewing photos of [my son] last night made me think of you. I thank you again for all that you did for us in our time of need and grief. The values you displayed as a man and a Christian have changed the way I live, thus changing my family. I thank you for the guiding light that you have shone in my life. You are, and always will have, a very valued connection in our hearts.

“Our lives are very different today. Thanks to you. [Our daughter] is doing well in school…[My wife] has been diagnosed with cervical cancer…She is preparing for treatment. On a positive note, she started college last semester. I guess seeing me make a change has helped guide her to a positive direction. Of course, I think we owe that to you. I would not have started the paralegal studies program if not for such a remarkable attorney and staff entering into our lives during our troubles.

For that, I thank you.”

Always remember, your influence on others extends far beyond immediate action. This man came to me as a client, but what he truly needed was someone who could show him a different way to live. What example are you setting for those who cross your path?