"It's the little things that count."
It's an adage we hear often and which certainly became an adage because of the truth behind it. On my way home from work last night I heard a commercial from the Ad Council about Fatherhood -- and they used a version of this truism.
It got me thinking (which is likely its intention). How often in life are the little things truly the ones that matter? I'd venture that it's more often than we even realize at the time. Its applicable to all kinds of relationships and interactions.
The time you simply hold your girlfriend's hand after a long day, the time you stop to pick up the box of cereal a busy mom dropped while grocery shopping, the time you cut the guy in your office some slack because you know they're having a particularly hard day, or the time you pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru. I would guess that these little moments are ones that turn around a day, or affect someone's life for good (even if at the time they don't know about it).
About a year ago I had a quote in my bathroom that said, "Every day, do one thing that won't come undone. Call a friend, read a story to a child, write in your journal." These are not events that are too far from many people's every day activities, but they are things that can help someone in ways you likely can't fathom at that point.
I am frequently the beneficiary of such acts, and some have affected my life much more than the person who did them likely knows.
There's Pat who does things for me daily (even hourly). He makes me laugh constantly, he makes food especially for me, holds my hand, snuggles me, includes me in his plans, he pays for gas, he teaches me how to cook, he comes and chats with me at my desk just to see how my day is going, he took me mini golfing when I had pneumonia just to get me out of the house, he bought me popsicles when I had the flu, hands over his lunch to me when I haven't eaten, he's cleaned my room and hung pictures, he's taken me grocery shopping to make sure I had food, he's done my laundry, he does all kinds of stuff for me that I appreciate so much.
There's my mom who spent countless hours caring for me as a kid and maybe even more countless hours reading books to me as a child, stirring within me a love of the written word and greatly influencing my career choice and my continued interest in reading. She bought me a purse a few weeks ago because she knows I haven't bought myself a new one in a year. There's my dad who calls at least once a week just to say hi and make sure I'm happy. My dad who buys me lobster when I'm at home just because he knows it makes my life a little bit better.
There's my sister who shares funny videos, pictures and quotes on my Facebook wall. She texts me goodnight nearly every night. My brother Braden who goes out of his way to check up on me in his emails all the way from Nicaragua. My brother Ben who calls to ask for my advice because he knows I've been in situations like he is.
There's the McDonald's attendant last week who just gave me a vanilla ice cream cone when I'd had a long day. There's the couple at Wal-Mart last week who let me go in front of them because I had one item and they had 20 or so. There's the old man a few weeks ago who told me I had hair as beautiful as Grace Kelly's. There's my coworker who made me banana pudding just because I'd talked about it. There's the guy who let me go ahead of him in traffic. There's the accounts lady at the doctor's office who helped me negotiate down my bill. There's the nurse who always answers my questions.
So, dear friends, I challenge you to do something small, big, medium sized for someone else because I can promise you that even if you don't think much of it -- it will make them smile and make their day better.
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