It’s the little things in life that really do mean the most. There’s a woman at my church who surprised several of us last week with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. They have brightened my office and made me feel loved and appreciated at a time of unrest and uncertainty. Then there’s the other things that have happened. I’ve been able to talk to a really good friend of mine about the frustrations and anxieties that I’ve been facing in both my personal and professional life. It’s really been cathartic. I don’t need to feel right all the time and just being able to talk about the things that have weighed heavily on my heart and mind has been a game changer.
This world is full of drama right now. Sending someone a note to let them know you are thinking of them can go a long way for a person who may be struggling hard at the moment. I’m constantly reminded of people on Facebook who have done good deeds to be rewarded with big rewards or big tips but that’s not why I’m writing this blog. I have a very good friend who made me a paper heart the other day. It sits in my window at work and reminds me that people truly care about me. It’s not anything fancy. Yet to me, it means a lot.
Then there are people in my life who are willing to learn new skills. They are willing to take those chances because they don’t want to settle for anything in their lives. They get so frustrated they want to quit but they inspire me to keep challenging myself and to not take a single day for granted. The people in my life come from all walks of life but they empower me to strengthen my mindset daily. When a person starts loving themself, they can offer so much more to everyone else.
I bought a complete stranger a cup of coffee. It wasn’t much but to them it meant the world. There was once a time I had gone to a local IHOP. Money was really tight but I was willing to pay for the folks with me because they weren’t working. It was late at night. One of the families next to us was laughing and carrying on very loudly. They left and my friends and I finished our meal. When I got to the register I was stunned. They paid for all of our meals. I was in tears. I was so grateful that I promised myself that I would pay it forward.
I’ve done some other things to pay it forward too. In the winter, my assistant couldn’t get her car started. She had to be at work at 9 and there was no way she could get there without getting a jump. I left my house and proceeded to the office. When she called me to tell me she was coming in, I asked her what she wanted for breakfast and picked it up. Then I asked her to call around and get an estimate for her battery. I had been saving for a rainy day. I didn’t expect that day to come so soon. The estimate was close to $200. I went to the ATM, withdrew the cash, said a huge prayer to God, and proceeded to the office. I stunned her when I gave her the money. For those who wonder why I did it, this woman works her ass off. She works six days a week, two jobs, doesn’t have anyone helping her, and I knew she wouldn’t ask for the money. I refused to let her pay me back because I really wanted to make sure she would be safe and able to get to and from with her car. It was supposed to be extremely cold the following week. No one needs to be stranded in the freezing air if it can be helped. That gesture meant everything to both her and me. It let both of us know we had each other’s back and that good things can and do happen to folks every day. Kindness is the most powerful tool we can utilize.
I use the examples of myself because there are so many things that happen every day to all of us. This weekend I got a very unexpected gift. A very good friend of mine gave me a vacuum cleaner that is pretty expensive. I only have one room in my home that has carpet. This vacuum cleaner does a really nice job and has a shampooer attachment that I currently don’t have. This gesture really meant a lot. I don’t know your circumstances but I do know that items don’t have to cost a lot or even anything. The way we treat each other means everything in our lives. When we are treated well, we treat others well. It’s very similar to a domino effect. The reason that I encourage people to do random acts is because we all are feeling stressed now. The world is so divided between races and religion that we have the power to incite change. The question then becomes how can we make ourselves matter in those changes?
My mom still does little things for me all the time. Those things can’t be measured in value because showing people that we care is priceless. I know folks in this world who crave power and money. There’s nothing wrong with that but at the end of the day how many of those folks can truly be counted on to remain friends who are loyal when a person loses everything? I know from experience that the numbers dwindle and people don’t have a clue as to what happened or why.
I continue to pay it forward at least once a day if I can. I don’t expect recognition. I just want others to understand that we are all a part of each other’s lives. We all need to help each other when times are tight and even when someone is feeling really down about themselves. It’s easy to do gestures when someone is always happy on the outside but are they really okay on the inside? It’s hard to know what masks people wear on a daily basis. Some are easier to spot than others. Body language can tell us a lot about what a person may be enduring but it’s not always accurate. I’ve known confident people who were fighting depression and anxiety and you would never have known it. They ended up either taking their own lives or trying to.
Keep your eyes open to the people around you. Pay attention to others. You might be surprised at what you learn. Doing the little things for folks may seem like a petty thing to you but the impact that it creates can morph into something beautiful and wonderful. Isn’t that what we all need right now? I don’t know about all of you but I’ve seen enough division in this world that I would really like to see people coming together to help each other be better than they were yesterday. I’d like to see people recognizing that they are people of worth, irregardless of race or social status. You can be among the most elite people and still be poor in ethics. Today’s a new day. It’s the start of a new week. Make the most of it by making the most of your time with those around you. Make the difference in a person’s life. You never know how big the rewards of small gestures could be emotionally.