This Thursday I’m thankful for human kindness. In a world where a lot of us are self -absorbed, it’s important to know that the smallest act of kindness can have a profound impact on someone else’s life.
Several months ago I received some frustrating news at work which was going to impact my ability to take some time off and enjoy a trip that I had been planning for nearly a year. I really felt as if I was being treated unfairly and when I get frustrated my first outward sign of emotion is tears. I tried to keep to myself, but during my emotional breakdown a few individuals snuck up on me.
One person in particular was an executive of the line of business I was working for. He was relatively new, but immediately noticed he had stumbled upon a personal moment. He asked if everything was ok and I said “yes”. I assumed that would be the extent of our exchange. A lot people, especially professional men, prefer not to get involved. However, at a group function later that afternoon this executive sought me out to ask if there was anything he could do to help. I was much calmer by then and explained the situation. His compassion was palatable. I could tell he really cared. He offered to assist with the situation in any way he could…even offering to contact Human Resources himself. I knew it was a loss cause, so I told him that I appreciated his offer but that I would work it out.
What I didn’t tell him, until an email several weeks later, was that his kindness in that moment changed everything. I’m pretty sure that my frustration and sorrow would have continued for several more days…maybe even weeks. But, his simple offer to help any way he could and the fact that he reached out to me when he could have easily forgone any further discussions meant a lot. I felt like someone actually cared and that alone made the situation easier to handle.
Even though I did tell him via email how much I appreciated his kindness, I doubt he will ever know the extent of how much that simple effort impacted me.
Has someone acted in simple kindness towards you and made your day/week/month/year/life better?