It’s the little things that mean the most.
When you really stop and think about it, there is a pretty fine line between being oblivious and being thoughtful.
All it really takes is a moment of kindness or a commitment to acting on those impulses that strike all of us from time to time.
“I should give her a call,” we think … but then the moment passes and we never do.
I was talking to a friend not long ago when she asked me about someone else, a mutual friend of ours, who had moved out of town a couple of years ago. I cringed as I admitted it had been weeks — months? — since I’d spoken to her. What could I say? I’d been busy? Well, yes, I had been, but was I really that busy every single moment of every single day?
“I’m going to go call her right now,” my friend announced, and she immediately left the room and did exactly that.
“I should call her too,” I thought to myself, but I didn’t.
Not that day, not that week, not even that month.
I finally reached out on my friend’s birthday with a text that, in retrospect, was embarrassingly flippant.
And that’s when she told me about her diagnosis of cancer.
“I’m so sorry,” I said. I meant that sincerely, and in more ways than one, but to be honest, everything I said sounded incredibly hollow and lame, at least to myself.
I try to do better than that … but sometimes I worry that I really am not better than that.
But I try.
Sometimes I send cards to friends just to let them know I am thinking of them.
If I see a book about something a friend is interested in, I buy it and give it to them.
If I see some odd little knick-knack in a junk store that I think will go nicely with a friend’s collection, I get it for them.
I have a decorative flag outside my house at all times. I only see it when I am walking from my front door to my driveway or back again, but I fly them with the hopes that my neighbors might enjoy them as they are driving by or walking their dogs.
I let people pull out in front of me when traffic is crawling down Kentucky 54 bumper to bumper. Okay, so maybe this is because I think otherwise they will pull out anyway and hit me, but still.
And here’s one: There is an electronic horsie at one of the grocery stores in town. It costs 1 cent to ride. The horse’s name is Sandy. I always pet him (her?) when I walk by.
But that’s not the nice part.
One day when I walked by and reached out to pet Sandy, I noticed someone had placed a couple of pennies on the base.
“What a great idea,” I thought to myself, and from then on, whenever I went to that store, I always made sure to take a couple of pennies out of the change cup in my truck to put on Sandy’s base.
I did that the other day, and the really nice lady who sometimes stands at the door as a greeter happened to be nearby. To my surprise, she leaned over and picked up my pennies.
No, I didn’t think she was stealing them; I just didn’t know what she was doing. And I guess she noticed my look of confusion because she chuckled and said, “We keep them in a cup over here at the service desk and give them to kids who don’t have a penny. But we can’t just leave them there because pennies are a choking hazard.”
Oh! Well! Then I’m very glad someone realized this, as I sure wouldn’t want a little kid to choke on one of my pennies!
So here’s the thing: I’m doing the best I can. I’m sure you are doing your best too; we all are.
We just need to all work together to do the best we can to make this world the best it can be.
And it starts with the little things.