My gratitude yesterday centered on an individual that I met; a man whose personal goal was to make someone’s life a little easier every single day. He holds himself very accountable and says it has now become a habit–imagine having a habit of helping someone, instead of our usual negative feelings that come to mind when we hear the word “habit”.
The gesture didn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming–but sometimes it is. It could be opening the door for someone; leaving a larger than normal tip; picking up a little treat for a co-worker, paying it forward in the drive thru line; or giving someone a compliment–the options are numerous. And I know people do these things all the time; but I have never heard someone make it a daily commitment and assume personal responsibility for holding to that commitment.
Sound easy? I don’t think so.
I think it would be a challenge. As mentioned, you hear about people doing “random acts of kindness” all the time. But all too often some of these random acts are done to make the “doer” feel good; not the recipient. What this gentleman is doing is different, this is part of his life–his daily living. He doesn’t do these things to make himself feel good about himself–he truly want to help out someone else–every day.
I think trying to make someone’s life easier–once a day–and being accountable (if only to yourself) is remarkable. He’s been doing this for some time; so I am sure that he has more than one example to reflect on at the end of each day. But I think I can handle one a day–and I’m not referring to smiling and saying hello to someone you see every day–I don’t think that’s making someone’s life a little easier–it just means you’re cordial. But what if I took the time to ask that person how his weekend was; took five minutes to have a decent conversation and show interest in him–that may help make his Monday morning a little brighter. I think that would count. Or what if I called someone who I knew wasn’t feeling well, or even sent them a real card–I know that would count. I am sure buying lunch for my colleagues would count but I also think taking that shopping cart back to the store so that the person who just finished unloading it doesn’t have to would also. There are lots of ways, some cost nothing and some will have a price tag.
I think this is a challenge I will look forward to.