“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Leo F. Buscaglia
I recently stumbled across an article that reinforced something I really believe in, our ability to let people know we care about them. Sadly some of us just take even those closest to us for granted and seldom just take a moment to let them know just how special they are to us. We are frequently that way too with those we see often; acquaintances, colleagues, business people and others. They are all worth our taking time to let them know we do appreciate them.
All of these folks are important and enrich our existence and I personally think they deserve not only our appreciation but also our interest. Most people are like you and me and wonder if anyone really listens or cares about them. I think I do, but most of the time I don’t do a very good job of stopping and letting them know I do.
And then there are the people we do don’t know but who we meet casually as we go about our daily business. These people are really special because if you take the time to thank them, tell them how nice they look, or just let them know you are grateful for the brief encounter some amazing things happen, you get rewarded. Most days the best reward I get is from the smile from someone who is pleased and often surprised that some one cared to stop and greet them. In my experience nothing pays as well as that what we get from others when we stop and give them a chance.
Here is the story I alluded to in the beginning.
Show Someone You Care
I was sitting at the bar of a local restaurant having lunch and taking a break from the daily grind, sitting there thinking about how tough I had it lately and how I was sick of what I was doing. I own a landscape company and never felt I made a difference in people’s lives.
As I sat there feeling sorry for myself, a pretty girl who looked about 25 walked in and sat down in a booth waiting for her friend. It didn’t take long before I saw she was trying to stay hidden in a way from other people’s gazes and my heart sank. You could see her hair was falling out and, at such a young age, she was receiving chemo.
I sat there watching her trying to remain composed and she was having a tough time of it. I ached for her, imagining what it must be like to go through this and yet I know some of her pain.
You see I buried my wife, the love of my life just a few short years ago and watched her slowly fade away. I needed to get a message of hope to this girl but how? What could I do?
Then it hit me! I called over her waitress and explained that I wanted to buy the girl and her friend’s lunch but I also told her you can’t tell her it was me, it had to remain anonymous. In doing so, I handed her a note to give to the girl when she told her that her tab was paid.
The note read as follows:
"Someone today thought you were beautiful, someone today thought your smile glowed with excitement, someone today thought your eyes lit up the world, someone today cared and wanted you to know this. Enjoy the rest of your day, pretty young lady".
About 15 minutes later the young girl asked for her check and I watched as she was told it was paid for. She asked why? Who? What for? The waitress simply handed her the note and informed her that the gentleman who did it left, as to keep me anonymous.
I watched as she slowly read the note. Her eyes teared up, for only a moment, and then came the smile! A huge, beautiful, hopeful smile! She lit up the room and then sat up straight, not caring who saw her. Her friend also beamed, not for what was done but because her friend was feeling beautiful again.
It’s not how we look or what we have, it’s not our houses or how many cars we have, nor is it how much money we can earn. No, it isn’t. You see it’s all about how much we care and what we do, even if it’s making someone feel pretty only for a moment.
Yes, lunch cost only a few dollars but you see the wonderful part, the magic was free.
Make a difference today in just one life; it’s free.
I expect to pass through the world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness I can show to any creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it, for I shall not pass this way again.
There was a party in progress in the woods. Suddenly, there was a downpour of thunder and rain. They jumped out of the tent and ran for about 10 minutes in the pouring rain, finally reaching their carjust as the rain let up. They jumped into the car, started it up and headed down the road, laughing.
All of a sudden, an old Indian man’s face appeared in the passenger window and there was a light tapping on the window. The passenger screamed out: EEEEEK! Look at my window! There’s an old Indian guy’s face there!" The old Indian man kept knocking, so the driver said, "Well open the window a little and ask him what he wants!" The passenger rolled her window down part-way and asked, scared out of her wits, "What do you want?" The old Indian softly asked, "You have any marshmallows?"
The passenger, terrified, looked at the driver and said, "He wants marshmallows!" "Well, offer him the whole bag! HURRY!" the driver replies. So she fumbles with a backpack and hands the old man a bag of marshmallows and yells, "Step on it!" rolling up the window in terror.
Now going about 80 miles an hour, they halfway calm down, and start laughing again, and the passenger says, "What was that?" The driver says, "I don’t know. How could this be? I am going pretty fast." But, all of a sudden AGAIN there is a knock on the window and there is the old Indian man again. Aaaaaaaaaaaaa, there he is again!," the passenger yells." "Well, see what he wants now!" yells back the driver. She rolls down the window a little ways and shakily says, "Yes?" The old Indian quietly asks, "Do you have a lighter so that I can roast the marshmallows?" The passenger throws a lighter out the window at him, rolls up the window, and yells, STEP ON IT!" They are now going about 100 miles per hour, trying to forget what they had just seen and heard, when all of a sudden again there is more knocking! "HE’S BACK!" The passenger rolls down the window and screams out, WHAT DO YOU WANT?" instark fear. The old man gently replies, "You want some help getting out of the mud?"
It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.
Scotsman, planning a trip to the Holy Land, was aghast when he found it would cost fifty dollars an hour to rent a boat on the Sea of Galilee. "Hoot mon," he said, "in Scotland it wouldna ha been more than $20."
"That might be true," said the travel agent, "but you have to take into account that the Sea of Galilee is water on which our Lord himself walked."
"Well, at $50/hour for a boat," said the Scotsman, "it’s no wonder he walked."
For fast acting relief, try slowing down.
Jill was really peeved! She was arguing with the druggist because her favorite cure-all could not be bought without a prescription.
"Look, lady. You can’t have this without a prescription because it’s a habit-forming drug."
"IT IS NOT!" yelled Jill. "I ought to know…I’ve been taking it regularly for seventeen years!"
A kind word is like a Spring day.
A group of junior-level executives were participating in a management training program. The seminar leader pounded home his point about the need to make decisions and take action on those decisions.
"For instance," he said, "if you had five frogs on a log and three of them decided to jump, how many frogs would you have left on the log?"
The answers from the group were unanimous, "Two."
"Wrong," replied the speaker. "There would still be five, because there is a difference between deciding to jump and jumping."
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.
The editor is somewhat senile.