Mondays are 1/7 of Your Life

by Tess on August 16, 2009

Kabira ??? ?
Creative Commons License photo credit: ajari

Previous Monday Winners:
Caity and Sara!

In 1980  Patricia Heaton  from “Everybody Loves Raymond” moved to Manhattan.  For the next seven years she scrambled to make ends meet working as a copy clerk, a shoe model and also auditioned for very small parts. 

At this time most of her friends were married, had children, homes of their own and “real” jobs.

Patricia was only twelve years old when her mother died. One day while feeling alone and discouraged about her career she remembered something her mother taught her: “When times get tough and you’re feeling sorry for yourself, do something good for someone less fortunate.”

Taking action helps the other person. It takes your mind off your own troubles and helps you appreciate your own blessings.

Taking her mothers advice she applied to the “Big Sister Program.” The woman at the agency told her they had a girl interested in acting but, because she was older, she was difficult to place in a home.

Patricia’s new 16 year old sister, Carmen came from Spanish Harlem. 

They immediately became friends but because Patricia was so horribly broke they spent their time together, chatting, doing homework, hair and nails.

They were two lost people in New York who found each other.

A few years after meeting Carmen, Patricia decided to get serious about acting and moved to the West Coast. She said good-bye to New York and Carmen. They were both very sad about parting ways and promised each other they would stay in touch.

In 1995, the first season of “Everyone Loves Raymond,” Ray was living in Los Angeles, California while his wife was in Queens, New York. She was in need of a nanny. Patricia referred Ray to little sister Carmen.
Everyone Loves Ramon was a big success and one year later Ray moved his family and Carmen, their nanny to Los Angeles.
Patricia and Carmen were together again! Eventually Carmen out grew her nanny job and worked her way into a position as the production assistant.

We never know the impact our actions will have on another’s life.

Who made an impact on your life?
Who have you mentored or made an impact on?

Leave the best story or comment and you’ll win a Starbucks gift card. Happy Monday!

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    { 21 comments… read them below or add one }

    Daphne @ Joyful Days August 16, 2009 at 9:55 pm


    I love hearing real-life stories, and this one was very heartwarming. It’s lovely to know that we can sponsor another person even when we’re broke ourselves. Too often we think we must be rich in order to make a difference. Great story.


    Jodi at Joy Discovered August 16, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Hi Tess!
    I absolutely love stories like this one! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!


    Hilary August 17, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Hi Tess .. isn’t that a great story .. perseverance from Patricia and remaining in touch, continuing to help. Something we can all strive to do now and as you say don’t dwell on being sorry for ‘me’ but get on and do things for others – actually moving forward and implementing something, even small, helps all round and especially thinking of others instead of oneself.

    Thanks – love the story -
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


    Robin August 17, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Hi Tess – I really do think that doing something for someone else helps to break through one’s own barrier – if nothing else, the action gets your own momentum going again. Great story!


    Lance August 17, 2009 at 4:04 am

    Hi Tess,
    I’d like to share a short story about goodness coming back at you. I’ve been a cub scout leader at our local elementary school for the past several years, seeing many boys go through the program. A couple of years ago, completely unrelated to scouting, the electric service to our failed (my fault: who knew I shouldn’t play electrician!!) – on a Sunday afternoon on one of the hottest days of the summer. I wasn’t even sure who to call, and then remembered there was an electrician who had a place not too far from our house. Not knowing who else to call, I tried the number, hoping I would get some sort of emergency service number for help. Instead, the owner happened to be in the office and answered the phone. And, to my surprise, as I’d never made the connection before – he was the father to one of the boys who had been in scouts. He knew me (I didn’t really know him…just because I dealt with so many people). Well…that he knew me, he was more than willing to come over that day (in like 5 minutes he was there) to at least temporarily fix it until he could get parts to replace some of the failing components. And…no charge! For a Sunday repair to our electrical service. And I was prepared to pay extra to have someone there that day to solve the problem. What a surprise! And what a great lesson for me – in that you never know when the good your doing will come back to you tenfold (or more!). It was such a great lesson for me – in just how powerful it can be when you do some good in this world.

    And what a great story you’ve shared, Tess – about Patricia and Carmen!


    Davina August 17, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Hi Tess. What I like about your questions is considering who I have made an impact on. It is easy to remember those people who have impacted me. But now you’ve got me wondering WHO I may have impacted. This is neat because it makes me feel more aware of who and what I bring to each day. Thank you!


    Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord August 17, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Professionally speaking, I had two incredible mentors. One who helped me get my first job out of college (I had been his intern and when I graduated, he found a way to pay me, which led to another job in the same company), and the other was my first boss in advertising. Both people believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, and showed me what my talents were. They gave me confidence, not to mention were extremely financially generous at a time when I had very little.

    Later, I had a chance to help both of them out and doing so made my heart burst with pride. To this day, I would do anything to help them, and I’ve never forgotten the tremendous impacts they had on my life.

    People like that teach us, through their generosity, how to be generous.

    I loved reading that story about Patricia, by the way. Thank you for sharing it!


    Stacey Shipman August 17, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Great story…I didn’t know that about her. I just made my appointment for an interview to become a Big Sister again. I had a little sister several years ago and last year I participated in their TEAM program – a group of us went into a local school once a week for the school year and mentored about 15, 13 year olds. This year I’m choosing to have 1 little sister again. I’m so excited – it was so much fun and an incredible to have such an impact on someone…sometimes you don’t even know you’re doing it.

    As for my mentor – probably my husband. He has taught me a lot and is truthfully the reason I am where I am.

    This also gets me thinking about how important every word and action is..everything impacts even if we don’t think it does.


    Keith August 17, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Hello Tess,

    This story really illustrates how what we put out, we get back. It also serves as a great reminder of how even the smallest of our daily actions can make a huge difference in the life of another.

    Thanks for another GREAT “Monday” article!


    janice August 18, 2009 at 6:04 am

    I loved that story even more because we were just watching the show this morning!
    The great thing about acting from love is how much Spirit and synchronicity love to make things happen when we’re inspired and motivated by a desire to love, connect and contribute.


    Jannie Funster August 18, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    “When times get tough and you’re feeling sorry for yourself, do something good for someone less fortunate.”

    You beautiful, wonderful, wonderful woman, that quote is something I want to absolutely LIVE my life by, Tess In fact, I am, or at least will try to live it. Thank you, you blessing you.

    xoxoxo from Canada.


    Mark August 18, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Great story! We impact lives everyday, the choice of what are impact will be is ours.


    Patricia August 18, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Loved the story Tess and thank YOU for sharing it with us.
    I believe there is a reciprocity to life and living and it just makes sense to do your best, be kind, and look out for opportunities to be helpful and generous.

    My daughter got angry at me for giving my last dollar to a begging young fellow in the park who wanted money for the shelter. I did not need to believe him, I just did it and wished him well.

    I gave all my change on the airplane to UNICEF in the provided envelopes -a British Airways opportunity –
    People are in need and there is always room for one more…

    Thank you for this post – I appreciate your gifts.


    Wilma Ham August 18, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Ever since I have come across the words ‘to live is to be love in action’ I can see more and more ‘proof’ of how valuable those words are.
    When you are love in action, you harvest the love that you have sewed and you never know where you will harvest, because you actually sew everywhere and are no longer counting or watching. You will find abundance everywhere, just like nature grows abundantly.
    What a heart warming story.


    Avani Mehta August 19, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Wow, that’s a beautiful story. I really like true stories – especially like these ones – they speak to your heart. Even when there is nothing we can do for ourselves, we have it in us to do something for others …

    “When times get tough and you’re feeling sorry for yourself, do something good for someone less fortunate.” – what a empowering message!


    Tess The Bold Life August 20, 2009 at 4:18 am

    We only need a little willingness and an open heart to help someone else. It’s amazing the impact we can have on another’s life.

    I love these stories as well. And as a speaker have a million stored in my memory. This was one of my favorites.

    In fact we can’t help helping ourselves when we do it for someone else.
    I love Patricia Heaton as both a professional on and off the screen.

    Yes indeed. I appreciate the knowledge you share with all of us on your blog. I learn from your blog each time I visit and for this I’m thankful!

    That’s exactly how families like ours do so well, with a little help from our friends. I’ve always been amazed at scout leaders and how generous they are with their time. Lance this doesn’t suprise me about you. You’re the sweeheart of the USA on and off line.

    The fact is it effects not only two people but all people in one way or another!

    Yes my friend and I know you’ve impacted many even in the blogosphere including me with your joy and wisdom!

    You are a wonderful example to all. I’m not surprised that you’ve been in this program spreading your love around.

    I’m thinking you know this because you do this. It’s wonderful knowing we’re all doing this touching others and helping ourselves in many wonderful ways in the process.

    Who doesn’t like another rerun of the show. We laugh out loud even at those. All married couples can relate. And I know you’re another example of giving to others!

    People like you give hope to the hopeless. You make the world go ’round in a wonderful way!

    Yes my mother taught me this through her love and action. And growing up on the farm we were always in nature. Abundant living at it’s best!

    Yes and we are so blessed for knowing and taking action. Thanks for stopping by my blog!


    John August 21, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    The story above was really well told. Kudos to Caity and Sara.

    In regards to your questions, I’ve been thinking long and hard about them. Who have I made an impact on… who have I mentored in the past…who’s made an impact on me…

    1. Whether it’s negative or positive, no doubt that I’ve impacted SOMEBODY.
    2. We had a mentoring program in our high school and I was assigned to one kid. I didn’t really help him much though… I only talked to him one time about how you should live life (not trying to be like everyone else and follow your own path). After that, I never spoke him again. Yeah, I was a real nice guy… I wonder how he is – maybe he didn’t even listen to me.
    3. All of the people I’ve met since college began. They restored the confidence I lost during high school. I feel like I can take control of my life now. And the bloggers and people I’ve interacted with online (including you Tess) have inspired me to take action. To put forth effort to shape my reality the way I want it.

    Oh and don’t worry about my comment too much – I don’t drink coffee :)


    jonathan figaro August 22, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Offering service to someone who is less fortunate can benefit an individual immensely. It reduces stress, it creates a positive mind set, build character , confidence, high self esteem, you name it. Lowering our defense shields , can allows us to provide for those who cannot.
    Helping an individual who is less fortunate is an obligation as a human being yourself. We all have the same emotions for the most part. So knowing this, ask yourself: How does this person feel being homeless and alone? How would i feel if we trades places?

    Then do what on to others, like you want them to do unto you!

    So here a tip.
    Today go out an do something nice for someone who int as luck as you. Buy a homeless person a plate of food, give him or her some money or even old clothes that you know will fit the individual. Just offer them a hand an believe you will be blessed!


    Joy August 22, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    I was married for 10 years; in my tenth year we separated. I had been a stay at home mom of my two children then ages 5&7. I was in a huge transitional period–trying to figure out how to buffer my children from the obvious changes that were being made in our lives, having to find work then figuring out daycare and how to best transition my children, trying to heal and grow and step forward from this experience. I have a strong faith, but these steps at times seemed very uphill. I have lots of friends, but they had their own lives which left me pretty much alone in this climb.

    I began a job at a local cafe at the harbor. In walked who I now call my “sailing friend”. Walked right up to me, began telling me his story, and that began a friendship that saw me through such huge transition. He would come in daily, and talk for hours– about himself, his life, his hopes, dreams, passions. I wouldn’t say much, would just listen; for two reasons. The first, I loved listening about his world it all fascinated me, and two because I was depressed and broken and not at all wanting to share what was in my life. Odd for him because he is actually quite introverted and private. Odd for me because I am extroverted and open.

    In that first year, he didn’t judge, he didn’t pry, he just talked. And helped me to see a world outside of the hurt I was in. He had huge faith and helped to remind me of mine. He was witty and made me laugh; when I cried he would sit with me. He had been through his own crisis, far worse than mine, and the fact that he “survived” and had dreams and shared it all with me was something that gave me hope and kept me moving forward.

    All of my life I’ve enjoyed sailing; as a passenger. He taught sailing, and when the time was right, he told me he would teach me. He has quite a local reputation for being an excellent sailor, so I knew he would teach me beyond what anyone else could. I didn’t want to learn, didn’t think I was capable, but he taught me. And then gave me amazing sailing opportunities. It was where I could be myself, find peace, soothe my soul…all of it on the ocean. And gave me great confidence in all other areas of my life. Great hope.

    All of my life I wanted to live on a boat. My then husband told me you cannot raise a family on a boat. Two years after leaving my house–the very month that my lease was up on my apartment–my sailing friend found a boat for me to buy. And encouraged me to go for it–to live out my dream. He helped me to heal and grow and learn, to dream, then to live out that dream. That first year of living on the boat was a tough transition for me–there was lots to learn mechanically, lots to learn in general, lots to literally “let go” of. When I would get frustrated or disillusioned he would show up and somehow fix it. He would give me tips, he would get me sailing. He would show me beautiful places in nature to give me motivation. That is what he did–he met me when I was heavy in weight, disillusioned in life, low in spirit, and he shared time, energy, emotion–made me feel beautiful, have faith, heal, grow, learn, dream, then realize that dream.

    What I did for him was to be one of the only people in his life to truly know him. It took him a few years, but eventually he opened up and showed me his true self–the one he hides from everyone because he is ashamed. Along the way he told me his fears and I helped him to move past some of them. There are some parts I cannot heal, but he opened up enough to let me try.

    The biggest thing I did for him was after knowing him the first year he needed a huge amount of money to help him through a situation. I was struggling, but I gave him the money–to essentially give him freedom from his situation, to live the life he wanted to live. More than the money, I stood next to him as he worked through it all, provided encouragement, support, acutally literally helped him get through a day if it was difficult–all while raising my children, healing myself, doing what I needed to in my life. It was draining and difficult but I did it, because he “breathed life” into me when I needed it most, without asking for anything in return–he helped me and believed in me in the moments I was unable to help or believe in myself. Although his situation was extraordinary in stress and drama, I did the same for him; and I stood next to him when no one else could or would. I did it in genuine faith.

    We are no longer close. He has issues that can’t be touched. There was a lot of hurt. But every day I am on my boat, I thank God for the experience; I am living a dream, and it is because of my sailing friend. And my sailing friend is living, and that is because of me.

    Thank you.


    Paul Maurice Martin August 23, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I actually don’t know who I made an impact on long term. That’s one thing about being an elementary school counselor – you’re left wondering about quite a few people!


    Jannie Funster August 27, 2009 at 7:30 am

    This post has stuck with me, doing something for the less fortunate. There is a part of me that is less fortunate than most of me, so I’ve been helping myself out.


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