My Nammy used to tell the story of a man who found fault with everything his wife did. Seems no matter what, he was always unhappy. As the story goes, one morning as the husband sat at the table, reading the paper, the beleaguered woman asked what he wanted for breakfast and he told her two eggs, one fried, one scrambled. The woman cooked his breakfast and sat the plate in front of him. He looked over his paper at his plate, then frowned. When she asked what was wrong, he said “You scrambled the wrong egg.”
That could have been me last week. It seemed that no matter what I did, I failed to meet others’ expectations, which is particularly painful if one of your faults is being a people pleaser, as I am. It was as if it was my turn in the beat-up barrel but I hadn’t been told so I wasn’t prepared.
Friday was a very rough day. A client was miffed because his baggage fees were not prepaid. This is a service done on request and it wasn’t requested. Another was livid because I wouldn’t call a hotel to have a guest moved from the room she wanted. Even my toddler granddaughter got in on the action, mad because her juice cup was empty. Dinner was late – and scorched.
Just a bad day!
Then, out of the blue, a text: “Just want you to know how much I enjoy reading your blogs. They do make me think of the past, present and future in good and difficult times.”
What a nice thing to say! Even though I thanked him, I’m not sure he realized just how much his random act of kindness meant to me. It was the rainbow in a dark and stormy week.
“Ah, kindness. What a simple way to tell another struggling soul that there is love to be found in this world.”
There is such power in a random act of kindness, be it complimenting a stranger, opening a door, saying hello, or simply smiling. Everyone is going through a struggle of some sort –
kindness helps. I see social media posts about paying it forward and that’s a great way to start! Completely unexpected, will make someone’s day. I also saw one this week that says “Stop doing “pay it forward” at Starbucks. The person behind you can pay for their own drink, that’s why they’re there. If you want to be generous, tip the workers more.” I think there’s a way to do both: if you’re the recipient of a pay-it-forward kindness, put the money you’d planned to spend in the tip jar. You’re still paying it forward, just in an unexpected way.
There’s a story told of a man walking along the beach who noticed a child tossing things into the ocean. Approaching the child, he asked “What are you doing?” The child replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The sun is up and the tide going out. If I don’t throw them back, they will die.”
The man responded, “There’s mile of beach and hundreds of starfish. Saving a few won’t matter.”
The child picked up another starfish, threw it back into the ocean and said to the man. “It matters to this one.”
Toss a starfish. It matters.