Make Someone’s Day
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” – Oscar Wilde
When I was living in Vancouver, BC, my place was right across the street from a Whole Foods grocery store. I used to love going there for their organic produce, delectable pastries, and comforting soups and salads. But beyond the products they sold, I was mostly drawn to the types of people I would meet there. I would often find myself in friendly conversation with a stranger, being given pleasant smiles by passer-byes, or sharing moments of our day with the cashier.
One day, I remember coming to the Whole Foods after a yoga class, feeling a little exhausted and ready to head home to rest. I quickly picked up the things I needed, and made my way to the cashier. I lined up in the express cue, and noticed an elderly gentlemen was having a bit of difficulty in line ahead of me. He stood at the side and was struggling to get out his wallet, all while trying to balance his meal in his tray. The people in line, on his approval, continued to pass him and make their way to the cashier.
As I witnessed all this happening, I was reminded of something I had read earlier that day by one of my favourite leadership development bloggers, Scott Dinsmore. In his blog post, Scott shared the story of a man who had run across the entire Sahara desert in order to raise money for his late brother’s hospice; he ran more than a marathon every day! This story is one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever read, and the most deeply touching and altruistic thing I’ve ever seen a human being do. When asked why he does this charity race across the Sahara every year, the man said that it is to honour his brother out of love. Scott’s main take away for us from this example is that “We do things for others far more easily than we do for ourselves”.
Coming back to the moment in the Whole Foods grocery store, I embraced this message from earlier in my day and acted upon it. I immediately helped the elderly gentlemen by holding his tray, taking it to the cashier for him, and and even paying for his meal. He said that was the nicest thing someone did for him lately, and the cashier said in his three years of working at Capers, he had never witnessed anything like that.
For me, helping others is ridiculously satisfying; it’s addicting actually. There aren’t many things more special than seeing someone’s self-esteem and confidence increase because of something I said or did. The joy and the smile on the man’s face was priceless, and remains forever imprinted on my mind.
So what can you do this week to make someone’s day?
Whether it is connecting them with someone they should know, including them in a once in a life time opportunity or event, thanking them for being awesome, or surprising them with a gift, know that your actions and words can make a real difference to someone else.
I figure, that we’re all just here in this life for a short while; we come empty handed, and we are going to leave empty handed. We might as well enjoy our lives, and serve others along the way.
Wishing you a week full of happy moments for yourself and those you create for others.