Every tiny bit of ourselves that we put into the world matters.
I was in a store the other day and heard a father talking calmly and lovingly but firmly with his little girl (who was maybe 4 or 5). He was talking to her about kindness and respect and her behavior and how she needed to listen to her mother and do what her mother said. Their discussion went on for quite a while in a quiet, engaged way, and I caught at least one other woman in line with us looking over and smiling at the father. I was so moved by his presence in the moment (being truly there and connected with his daughter), by his commitment to wanting to help his daughter grow into a kind, respectful person, by his honesty, by his willingness to take this moment in public to have this discussion right then, that when I finished checking out, I looped back around to tell him what an amazing father I knew he was and that I believed what he was doing for his daughter was so wonderful and important and to keep at it. The other woman who had been listening, too, jumped in and agreed with my sentiments. I think we lifted him up a bit. I hope we did. I believe no matter what it is – whether you like someone’s blouse or shoes, or are moved by an act of a stranger’s kindness, or feel the love a parent has in doing what’s best for their child even if it causes a scene or even if it’s the harder thing to do in the moment, I believe life is too short not to share what has moved us and thank that person or acknowledge that person and share the tiniest moment in time. I’ve never had anyone look at me like I was crazy for connecting with them in this way. There is always a brief smile and the tiniest inhale of “thank you” which is usually then verbalized, too. Certainly when people do that for me, it runs straight to my heart and lives there for a bit, and sometimes for a long while. And while I may have complimented him, what that father did is still resonating with me several days later, as you can tell. I think when you see someone else’s heart so open, it can’t help but open yours a bit, too.
Jonathan Fields, creator of the Good Life Project, once said, “Never forget that what you put into the world matters, even if it’s just to one person, even if it’s just to you, even if it’s just a little bit. And that’s enough.” To this I say Amen, Onward, and YES.