I have friends that complain about everything, no matter how small the issue, and friends who like to brag, no matter small the success. I even have a few friends that argue about most things and usually because its fun. This begs the question, “Why are these people my friends?” The answer is simple — they all have huge hearts. Ask any of them for help and if it is within their power to do it, whether convenient or not, they will do it. They will help no matter who is asking whether it’s their tribe, an acquaintance, their community, or even a total stranger. This superpower is priceless; it takes a special person to set themselves aside to help others. I am lucky these friends are part of my tribe!
Years ago, when I was working in corporate America, I was a road warrior. I traveled every week and often to the same place. During one of my trips, I was upgraded to business class, and I gratefully thanked everyone. The following week on the same flight I was not upgraded. The flight attendant from the previous week was once again part of the flight crew. She saw me waiting to board, walked over to say hello and asked why I was not in business class. I let her know that I had not been upgraded that week. She smiled and said, “You don’t know how to talk to people.” She walked me over to the ticket counter and asked the agent to upgrade me, and I was. This routine continued for 6-7 weeks until she was no longer part of that crew. During one of those flights, I asked why she helped me receive upgraded seats every week. She told me it was because I was kind and respectful (my friends might tell you otherwise ?) on that first flight and did not complain when I wasn’t automatically given an upgrade on the second. I didn’t expect to receive an upgrade for being pleasant, but my reaction was appreciated by the attendant and inspired her to help me.
Whether we realize it or not, the impact our actions have on others can be profound. Every day, with every interaction, we have the power to brighten someone’s day — even through small gestures. Not only is this an amazing superpower, when we use it, the act also improves our day. These gestures do not have to be big. In fact, small things like a smile, wave, letting someone in while driving, saying thank you, or even a random compliment can give the receiver a lift that just may inspire them to do something great. Even if that something is a returned small gesture to improve someone else’s day.
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” – Amelia Earhart
What small gestures will you make this weekend?