Today as I was leaving a restaurant where I’d had a meeting with someone and as she and I were walking out to our cars in the parking lot a car driving past us slowed down and stopped right next to us. The back window rolled down to reveal two little boys, around four or five years old at most staring at us. The driver side window rolled down and the mother driving said, “He wants to tell you something”. We leaned forward to hear what the little boy had to say. The little boy said in the sweetest little voice, “You’re beautiful”. “Awww thank you so much!” we responded. Their mother explained, “They asked me to stop the car so they could tell you that. Have a great day.” And off they drove.
It was an encounter of only a few seconds. We have no idea who they were. We’d never seen them before and chances are we will never see them again. It was such a small thing. And yet that small thing genuinely made our day. Not just that the little boys were so kind in their words, but that the mother was willing to stop the car as she did and unroll the window sitting there when I’m sure it must have felt completely awkward for her to be doing so. But the fact she was willing to go outside her own comfort zone to support that her children wanted to do something nice really – that really warmed my heart. All I could think was, “What a great Mom!” And what a great example she was setting for her children on the value she placed on being kind to others.
I went about the rest of my day and when I returned home tonight after what had been an especially long day I discovered a sweet Valentine’s card in my mailbox from a dear friend who just wanted to take a minute to tell me she cared about me and was grateful for my friendship. Another small act of kindness from someone that did so much to help brighten up my night.
Today’s occurrences reminded me not to discount the meaning of the small things we can do for someone else. We shouldn’t pass up the opportunities that come throughout our day to lift someone else’s spirits – opportunities to give a compliment, to say thank you, to smile, to lend a hand, to write a note, to send a text. Be willing to do kind things for the people around you in even the smallest of ways because you truly never know what impact you might make in that person’s life…and the truth is that it may have been a small thing to you, but it may be the entire world to the other person you helped. You just never know.
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )