Wednesday, March 21, 2007

something so small

sometimes? someone totally random will do something totally uncharacteristic, something out of the blue, and it will have a way of adding a little needed sunshine to your day.

and if you're real lucky? this will happen when you need it most, and often.

when this happens to me, i can't help but feel very grateful and appreciative. on a bad day, where things just don't seem to get off on the right foot, from the get go, and continue to spiral down a shit path throughout the day. it's during these days, when nothing is going right, you are feeling your ugliest, your fattest, your most undesirable. you're overwhelmed, stressed, emotional, and all together feeling just off. wrong. shitty. when someone dishes a compliment on one of these off days? doesn't it then feel like things are all just a little bit better?

at least it does for me.

and when this happens on a really good day? the type where the morning starts off good, it's a friday even, your hair actually does what you want it to, it's finally warm out, you're feeling like you look good, well that's just wicked great. your day is already pretty much a 10, and a compliment comes your way, and it only gets that much better.

but then i start to think. imagine the people that have the latter of the days mentioned, most days? or people who don't have work colleagues who are very nice. who don't have special friends who dish compliments just because. don't even have family that they can depend on. no special someones in their lives at all. and, maybe they don't have much money, or motivation, or means to look and feel good about themselves as often as they'd like. imagine how a compliment, a random act of kindness would change their day?

i think about this notion, often. how much a random act of kindness really can affect a person. change someone's day. just a smile even. how much of a tremendous impact that can make on someone's day. how it can change their outlook.

and imagine if that's directed towards someone who never experiences that kind of thing? a smile. something so small, but isn't it something that we sometimes take for granted?

after thinking about this recently, and a lot today, i have decided to really go even more out of my way to extend those random acts of kindness to people. a compliment. getting the door for someone. leaving an extra tip. smiling at a stranger. sending a thinking of you card for no reason. telling a friend that i'm there for them if they need to talk. paying a little more than your share. surprising someone with a coffee. for something that can take such little effort, it can hugely impact someone in unthinkable ways.

at least it did for me.


Mel said...

When people I don't know go OUT of their way to say hi, or "have a nice day" at the checkout line (the employee when I'm the customer) it absolutely makes me smile and I want to share that with others. I always try to do those little things. Like saying thank you sincerly to people we love. I forget that I don't tell my parents thanks for the millions of little things they do for me, like reminding me of birthdays, stuff like that. And guys I date. Every once in a while I just say, "You know, you make me feel like a queen, no one ever thought to tell me how perfect my boobs are even though they know I hate them"....and then they do the same for me...and it is a string of happiness. I love it

Carrie said...

Little things make all the difference, especially on those days when you feel like crap. It makes a huge impact on yourself and others when you give a little and get a little.

B said...

I have been having a crappy day today- it was nice to read this post - you have snapped me out of my pity party. I saw a show oprah did about this and I really do think it would be great if we all participated in such an act a little more than we do.

Trixie said...

i agree... a litle act of kindness goes such a long way into making someone's day.

it's like that movie "pay it forward"? you do a nice things to 3 people and those people will in turn do 3 nice things to 3 other people.

m said...

I was having such a shitty day and this totally brightened it. Thank you doll!

PeeJ said...

I think it's a shame that there are more instances in a day where someone's completely ticked you off than there are instances in the day when you think "Wow, that was so ace, that person was lovely!"

Maybe it's the way everyone lives now, the pace of modern life, the disparagy between the bigger a place gets and the further apart people get. But it is lovely when it happens, when you experience that one solid gold moment in a day where someone does something so lovely that you could just give them a big wet sloppy kiss in return...


Aaron said...

It's always the little things, right?

I recently received a card "just because it reminded me of you" and it really went a long way to making the day better.

brandy said...

Nice! I'm glad to know you are having such a great day. Sometimes small things DO make me feel better. Sometimes large donations of cash to my shoe fund do. Hope the good days continue!

brookem said...

brandy- recent days haven't been great, but it's those little things that have made them a little better! thank you!

angel, jr. said...

One of my favorite professors in college told us to "commit a random act of kindness". Such a beautiful woman and I have taken her advice and gone out and have done little things like helped a neighbor carry in groceries, or let someone else at a four-way stop go first (I know, no biggie) or just stopped to help someone pick up some spilled or dropped items. I think it feels better to be the one to do the random kindness things.

e.b. said...

I feel like I have to learn and re-learn this lesson. But it is always true - thanks for reminding me of it again.

brookem said...

mel- good idea about thanking our parents. that's one i don't do often enough, even if i do think it all of the time.

carrie- totally agree. and thanks for the picture link! :)

b- good ole' oprah. she's amazing isn't she?

trixie- i've seen it. i love it. such a sad ending though, come on!

m- glad your day got a little better!

peej- i think you brought up a good point about why it doesn't happen AS often as it could. ha- a bit wet kiss? not for EVERYone who does something good, but i get your point.

aaron- im a card whore, so i love that idea. i send them all of the time, and it makes me feel so good to do it.

angel, jr.- i do the four way stop thing too. and i agree, it usually feels really good to be doing the random act too. often times even more than being on the receiving end.

Paige Jennifer said...

I once studied under a prominent doctor who was also a recovering alcoholic. Ten years clean, he'd adopted a rule of life. At least one time a day, he was to recognize someone with a thank you. Be it for helping him with a patient or holding the door, he went through stationary like it was water. Listen, I know he was a little off his recovering rocker but I sure did admire that about him.

Nice post. Oh heck, nice blog!

Kimberly said...

I love this. I try to remember when I think something nice about someone, to TELL them. It's sad that sometimes people might not even know I like their haircut or I think they have the best laugh ever or their attitude always encourages me...I think I need to adopt a rule of never letting things like that go unsaid.

k.r.i.s.t.e.n. said...

i LOVE this topic. i think i was going to write about this once. i completely agree with it. a little does go a long way. i love the feeling of giving a compliment and seeing the other person crack a smile.

and it's funny because as i was reading all of these nice comments, someone i work with (who is notorious for not giving compliments) stormed into my office yelling at me about something someone else did (ie. something that i have nothing to do with). i don't understand how someone could be so rude and not realize how being nice is much more effective in a work environment, and in life.

brooke alexandra said...

I wish more people felt like this.

dionna said...

I absolutely agree - and on the flip side, when someone is rude or makes a snide remark, that can ruin someone's day. I'd much rather be the cause of more kindness.
re: the tweener girl crying. I saw her on the Today Show too. And if she is any indication of how most of that population votes, Melinda, Gina, Sanjaya, and Chris S. will be in the top 4. I agree with only one of those choices.
btw, did you see you were mentioned in our post from yesterday? :)

Airam said...

random acts are the best kind because nothing is expected in return. the action is "just because".