Do you know that feeling when you do something offhand, and someone tells you it had a big impact? It surprised me again today. An acquaintance called; he needed someone to fill in for a job that had just come up. He had explored a few options that hadn’t panned out and someone suggested he call me. I shot off a few emails and was able to line someone up for him in short order. It was no big deal for me. But he sent me an effusive email; apparently it had meant a lot to him.
It’s nice to do something good for someone, but isn’t it even nicer to do something that you don’t realize is such a big deal, until you’ve done it? I feel like somehow the good feelings are multiplied when you realize that you accidentally touched a nerve– you made a difference– and it cost you very little. Makes me wonder what could happen if I actually made an effort!!
I certainly know how it feels to be on the receiving end of these small acts of kindness/help: a stranger looks at me on a crowded metro train platform and says, “Wow, you’re beautiful” and continues with her evening commute. An old boss suggests me for a promotion at the company that’s just fired him. A fairy-coworker brings banana pudding to me in the middle of a deadline. A friend calls me every day of the week I got back from the hospital, just to leave me a voicemail message that says, “I love you”.
I recently learned a term that has helped frame the way I look at the people who do these seemingly little things– “helpers of destiny”. Pretty self-explanatory term— people who come along, and help me to move closer to my destiny/purpose. I like to think that these people will never know, on this side of heaven, the effect that they had in encouraging me and keeping me moving toward my goals.
And I pray that I will always be mindful of the “little” things I can do for other people, too.