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Things that seem small can have an impact on all of us. Doing small things with a big and open heart can change the world.

On our recent trip to Seattle, we were introduced to the Wishing Tree.   We talked to the couple that started the tree and it was inspirational to hear how this simple concept has changed and enriched their lives.

Every day people write their wishes, hopes, dreams, and things they are grateful for on index cards and then leave the card in a jar by the Wishing Tree. At night, the cards are removed from the jar, laminated and strung with ribbon from the pipes that hang from the Wishing Tree.

The couple that has the tree on their property said the tree has helped bring their community together. They also said that reading the cards put their lives into perspective and helps keep them balanced and humble.

We read some of the wishes on the tree. People wish for health, peace, love, luck, and everything else you can imagine. Some wishes are heartfelt and deep while others are more light-hearted and playful.

One thing about living as someone with schizophrenia is I always want to give people hope. I want people to believe that things can get better, that a new treatment might be right around the corner, that the voices or symptoms will stop, or even the hope that there may someday be a cure for those of us who struggle with a mental illness.

You may be wishing for a partner. You may be wishing for a medication that works. You may be wishing for a job. You may be wishing for relief from symptoms. You may be wishing for a friend. Whatever it is you are wish for, my dream for you is that you find it.

You don’t have to travel to Seattle for your wishes to be known by others, you can leave them here if you want to, or you can write them on a piece of paper and pin them to a bulletin board.

I hope we can all create something like the Wishing Tree that makes a difference in the lives of those who encounter it. There are so many ways to brighten another person’s life – let’s find those ways and get to work building a better life for all of us.