Thursday, May 26, 2011

It only takes a moment....

I've been noticing something lately....human beings seem to be completely unaware of their own power.  I'm not talking about power as in strength or energy or any other mundane explanation.  I'm talking about the power to change the course of a person's day, the power we have in regards to each other, to relating to other people, to influencing someone's day, for better or for worse.  It's so easy and it only takes a moment and we're so unaware of what we're doing.  We interact with people all day long.  And sometimes, those interactions are so brief, but they have incredible power to influence the tone of our days.  An only took a few seconds of time to shoot a dirty look at the mom with the screaming children in the grocery store.  But I bet it made her feel bad for much longer than just those few seconds.  It only takes a few seconds to flip the bird to some jerk who cuts you off in traffic.  If he noticed, maybe it made him feel bad.  But, the fact that he cut you off can ruin the rest of your drive, can't it?  Only took him a few moments to ruin your day.  We all do things like this throughout our days and we don't even realize it most of the time.  I've been trying to take a few moments to think about things that I do lately and to try to change the nature of what I'm doing, to take a few extra minutes to improve the nature of someone else's day.  I'm not always very good at it, but I figure even a little bit of effort is so much better than doing nothing and just continuing as I am.  So, I have a few examples to share with you.....

1. At the grocery store the other day, I happened to notice a frazzled mom with a toddler screaming in her cart.  My heart went out to her.  We all know it's like to have a screaming child in the cart and to see all the dirty looks directed at us for having that screaming child.  I passed by the woman a little later, after her son had stopped crying.  I made a point of telling her what a great job she'd done in not giving in to her son (and not yelling at him or threatening to "smack him" as I've heard too many moms say).  She immediatley teared up, told me she'd been having an awful day, and thanked me for the comment and making her feel like she was doing something right.

2. I noticed a very pregnant woman at the library earlier this week.  I could tell from looking at her she was at the point where she wasn't sleeping anymore and was uncomfortable and tired.  But she had the cutest "just swallowed a basketball" belly.  And I told her so. 

3. At Costco today, I was frazzled...the kids tend to drive me a little crazy when we're there because they want every sample, every Cars or Mickey Mouse-themed book, pillow, towel, blanket, etc.  Lily begs for flowers and Leo demands candy.  We got to the checkout finally, with our cart filled with every berry under the sun, diapers, numerous sources of caffeine, and whatever else we generally buy in bulk.  A lady stepped in line behind us, no cart, just one single item.  I let her go ahead of me.  Only takes a few moments longer, my kids stay confined in the cart instead of running around like heathens, like they generally do.  Not a big deal, but it made her feel grateful. 

Those are just a few examples.  And let me just say....for every one of those "good" moments, I've probably had another 10 bad ones.  But, I'm trying to change that.  I want to make people feel good and I hope by making other people feel good, they'll have the desire to pass that on to more people.  It only takes a minute and a little bit of effort and who knows where it ends....


  1. Inspirational!
    I so totally need to choose to do more good...think I'll start with my girls, who are driving me nuts at the moment. ;) Smiles and kind words, not the scowl and yell I really want to let loose!!!

  2. You.Make.Me.Smile. with these posts. I think what ends up happening is in the end it makes the "giver" feel happier and more ful-filled too. I love you.

  3. I was just reading this blog post and agreeing with you in my head. Then I was about to close out of the screen and I thought "Wait! I should TELL her that she has inspired me to do the same."

    So yeah. I will be joining you to go out of my way to help others feel good. And I think more people should be joining this. :)

  4. im glad you are loving enough to step up and actually 'do' the things you think. it takes a mature woman to do that. xx.

  5. Hi Cindy,

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and commenting. And how fitting that when I added your blog to my RSS reader, that this post was the one on the top of my screen.

    Here's to letting you know that the moment you spent commenting on my blog put a smile on my face. Thank you!