Thursday, December 25, 2008
Sharing good deeds
Often my commentary here makes a point about how people follow blindly and fail to think or do things for themselves. I also get aggrevated with people who, in my opinion, behave inappropriately. I wanted to share a couple of anecdotes from this week as testimony that I am not always snipping at people and to lead by example. In no way am I trying to break my arm by patting myself on the back nor am I seeking kudos of any sort. I honestly hope that by sharing, I can create a "Pay it Forward" kind of atmosphere.
Two young girls left an interesting message on my voicemail the other night. I would estimate their ages to be around 10 or 12 and they were trying to create a three-way conference call with a friend. One of them did most of the talking and explained, "We are sorry but we got the wrong number. We were trying to reach our friend and must have dialed wrong." She was very clear, to the point and asked me to excuse the call. Impressed by her politeness and demeanor, I checked caller ID and returned the call. The little girl answered, but I asked for the woman's name that showed on the ID. When the girl hesitated, seemingly confused, I explained that I had the name on my caller ID. The girl immediately apologized again and started explaining. I stopped her. "No sweetheart, I am not at all upset. I wanted to call your mom or whoever and her know she should be proud of you - you were so polite and did such a wonderful job with your message. I thought she should know and YOU should know that you did a good job."
The young lady seemed genuinely touched and thanked me profusely. I wished her well and hung up. It took two minutes of my time and hopefully gave her some positive reinforcement.
On Christmas Eve, I was in a store parking lot talking to my mother. A woman approached with her young daughter, I'd estimate to be six years old. They had walked from the opposite side of the parking lot and as they neared the woman said, "Excuse me, but my daughter wanted to know if she could see your reindeer." Knowing she was referring to the bobble heads on my headband, I laughed and said "Of course!" I began conversing directly with the young girl. "Do you want me to take them off?"
"Yes, please!" she said. Her eyes were dancing and I was enamored with her. I let her hold the headband and she carefully wiggled the heads back and forth. She asked where I got them and chatted a bit before handing them back. The four of us continued to talk a few more minutes and the mother prompted the girl to tell us her name is "Sierra." As they said their goodbyes and thanked me for my time, I felt compelled to do more.
"Sierra, I have had such great fun with these the past couple of days - watching people smile and compliment my reindeer. Would you like to take them and have fun with them now?"
Sierra's eyes widened and she immediately said, "YES!"
I placed them on her head and she thanked me. I told her she was welcome to them - just spread the cheer. As Sierra and her mom walked back across the lot, they talked. I could detect an extra lilt in the girl's step and saw her gently touch the top of the band, securing it in place.
Interactions like this hold a much deeper meaning than the ones where we have to confront someone about a wrong-doing. Telling someone hello, thank you or extending a helping hand takes only a moment but the warmth lasts much longer. I can be having a bad day, but recognizing the good in someone else immediately helps me feel better.
So please remember lamb chops, I share these stories in hopes of sparking a flame for you to continue passing along the warmth of humanity.