There are times you cannot get home fast enough to post something… this is one of those times.
At the end of this past year, a friend of mine attempted to open my mind to the sometimes hard to believe idea that people may actually want to be around me because they like to be around me. What happened today hammered that idea home. As a man of little subtlety, getting walloped upside the head like this was an awakening.
I awoke this morning in a less than premium mood. I had forgotten about a report I needed to turn in this morning for the website I am helping work on at church, so I had to hurry and assemble it and print it. Not earth-shaking stuff, but I felt bad at doing it so last minute. In any case, its set my day slightly on its ear. When I arrived at church I hurried to deliver my report to the pastor’s mailbox and then rushed upstairs and sat down without really socializing. That’s not usually me, because there are some genuinely wonderful people with whom to socialize there. In the process, I also unwittingly slighted my dearest friend.
When the time came to pass the collection plate, I passed it to her, gave her a smile and said “Good Morning”. She smiled widely back at me and returned the greeting. It was a nice moment. After church, I ran into another friend who needed my advice on an issue and we had a wonderful talk as well. I left feeling pretty good again, because being kind and taking time for others is something in which I really find value.
As the day wore on, however, my old moodiness returned. Not for any reason whatsoever, just because. That makes it doubly frustrating. Self-doubt crept in once again. On my way home from my family’s house where I enjoyed a relaxing afternoon, I stopped in at my friend’s house to drop off something. She met me eagerly at the door because she was watching ice skating and was really excited. I joined her. I spent the evening there helping take down the Christmas tree and working unsuccessfully on fixing an issue with her computer. Then she related a story that made me melt completely…
She had an equally frustrating morning. She felt at turns angry and then okay and then angry. And then she said, “I was really bummed you didn’t talk to me before church, but I know I was talking to someone else. But then, you smiled at me when you passed me the collection plate with that big smile and said ‘Good Morning’, and I felt much better for at least a little while.” It’s small, relatively inconsequential in the great wheel of life, but it has made my entire weekend. I had a positive effect on someone just by being me. That feels really good. And what’s more is that it had an effect on someone about whom I care so very deeply. I cannot stop smiling.
Small things matter.