This year I have had a lot of people come to me with all kinds of problems. I don’t know why I have no certificates or special training. I am just a working stiff like you. But, I try to help people as best I can. This week while listening to another person I remember something that happened when I was with my daughter.
Elizabeth (my daughter) can be very shy in public or around strangers – dad is not like that. We were walking along one of our favorite places Creekside in Gahanna, Ohio. I saw a man with a tie I admired and I stopped and told him so. Then we went on our way. Our conversation afterwards went like this:
E: “Daddy why do you do that you embarrass me?”
J: “Sweetheart did you see that man’s smile when I gave him a compliment?”
J: “It made him happy. It did not cost me any money. It only took a few seconds of my time. And he thanked me for the compliment which was good for you to see someone else with manners.”
E: “Yes, daddy but it is embarrassing.”
J: “Well Sweetheart you never know what kind of day that man was having. He could be having a really bad day. And if he is having a bad day, maybe, just maybe, someone giving him a compliment is enough to turn his bad day into a good day. And if he gives someone a compliment and changes that person’s day it could just keep going on and on. So you see giving just one person a compliment can make a whole bunch of people have a good day. Do you understand?”
E: “Yes, but it is still embarrassing daddy.”
What my daughter did start doing was telling me when she saw something she liked and I would go and give the compliment. She would stand behind me trying to hide, but she didn’t complain about daddy embarrassing her. What I also noticed was my daughter noticing the smile spread across the other person’s face when I complimented them. What I noticed was the smile that spread across my daughter’s face when she saw the other person smile.
You see we cannot bring someone back from the dead, we cannot fix a broken relationship, and we cannot get someone’s job back for them, or stop a foreclosure. But we can bring a smile to someone. And sometimes that smile is just enough to change their day and make the burdens of their day just a little bit lighter.
We cannot save the world. But we can help just one person today. And for today, that one person will be enough, just one person for today. If you do that each day, at the end of a year you have helped 365 people. And if each one of those people helps just one person and each of them helps just one person … well you get the idea.
We can’t save the world. There is going to be hunger and disease, there will be nuclear weapons and wars, there will be hate and terrorists, none of those things will go away no matter what anyone tells you. But if you help just one person you come into contact with you make the world around you better. As we all make the world around us better what we do is to lessen the influence of all the bad things in the world.
In recycling the slogan is “Think globally, act locally.” That works here. So, if you are tired of the hate in the world, the hunger and poverty. If you are tired of the terrorists and the haters in the world. Do something about it today. Today help just one person. Today give just one person a compliment. Today help just one person cross the street. Today help just one person get a good meal.
You can’t change the whole world. But you can change the world of just one person today. And changing the world of just one person may not seem like much to you. But to that one person you help it might just be a life changing event. And even if it isn’t … what did it cost you? Maybe 15 seconds or at the most maybe 2 or 3 minutes? In one day you have 86,400 second or 1,440 minutes. So, maybe those few seconds or couple of minutes really aren’t that much out of your day. What do you think?
I already helped my person today. What about you? (I think I’m going to squeeze in a second person today. You know what they say “Every day of the week and twice on Sunday.”)
You have a good day, take care of yourself, and go change someone’s world!