I’m Proof That Your Small Act of Kindness Makes a Big Difference
I had an experience with a stranger recently that really touched me.
Before I go too far let me just say, I'm a lover of love. I believe that all good things stem from love and I also believe that we are called to love one another each and every day. As I navigate life, I try really hard to show others love by helping, engaging, or simply looking someone in the eye and smiling. It doesn't take much to love.
And recently that love was returned to me in a simple, but grand way.
As you may know, I lost my mom last month and it's been really tough. You don't expect to lose a parent until it's their time or until you've at least given them a grandchild. Needless to say, February was not my favorite month.
I flew to my hometown to pay my respects and say my goodbyes. After spending a few days with my family making arrangements and taking care of a few things, it was time to head back. I boarded the plane to find a young man sitting in my seat. Usually it's not a big deal to me, but I really wanted that window seat so I could just pop in my headphones and sleep.
He obliged graciously when I asked him to move, all the while I was apologizing profusely.
After the doors were closed and we began to taxi to the runway, the emotions began to hit. Something about leaving the place I grew up and knowing that my mom was no longer there just crushed me. As I watched the ground grown more and more distant out the window, my vision became blurry as my eyes filled with tears.
As I wiped them away, I felt a tap on my elbow.
That same young man was checking on me. He asked me if I was OK and I uttered something along the lines of having to say goodbye to someone who I really loved. Without hesitating, he said he was there if I needed to talk. After all, we had a three hour flight sitting in the same row.
I assured him that I wasn't ready to talk, but that his words had made me feel better. And they did. Honestly, I felt seen. I felt like I wasn't alone on that plane traveling hundreds of miles across the country. Although I never took him up on his offer, I was touched that a stranger knew that I may need someone in that moment. I mean, how often do people on planes do everything they can not to talk to someone? And here this guy was willing to give me all of his time.
It's the small things, I tell you.
Not to get all preachy on you, but we need to get back to being humans. It doesn't take much to make someone feel like they are on this earth for a reason, that they matter. That moment last month has made me actively seek ways to serve and help others. They may not be big things, but they may be big to that person.
Oh, and don't worry I was able to pay him back by offering him my pretzels. He had asked the flight attendant for more, but they were out. I gotta say, I was really thankful I got to at least do that for him.