I was reminded of that today.
Truthfully I don't always think of others. I am human and there are times when I just want to do my things and ignore the world. Those are the days when I feel consumed by my own wants and needs and figure someone else should take a turn at being nice.
But today was different.
I wasn't thinking when I left home with my errands and grocery list that today was the eve of Thanksgiving. The traffic and busy people soon got me to realize it and so I made a conscious decision to be nice and enjoy the day.
At the grocery store I pushed my cart around and smiled making eye contact with each person in the isle. I picked up dropped items for people who had rushed in for those quick things that wouldn't balance right in their arms. I played with small children to persuade them that running errands can be a fun thing to do.
Then I ran into a sweet friend from Romania and her 2 grandsons who are students in my church class. We all hugged and joked for a few minutes about the busyness of the day and then exchanged secrets on the best purchase deals of the week.
After we said goodbye, the gal who had been stocking shelves nearby came up to me and said with an air of awe, "Do you know her well?" I smiled and said yes but it didn't seem like a good enough answer for her as she stood there just staring at me. So I explained that we go to the same church.
That obviously satisfied her because a vault of statements came forth from her.
"That is wonderful."
"Church is a nice place to be."
"I've been thinking about going to church again."
"Too bad I have to work."
"At least tomorrow will be quiet."
"We used to try and go do the holidays with my husband's folks but it didn't work well."
"So stressful it was."
"Tomorrow we are staying home and not going anywhere no matter what."
"How about you?"
"It sure is crazy here."
"I can't believe all the people."
"You seem great though."
After smiles and conversation we parted and I finished my shopping. But as my husband bagged groceries and I paid for everything, she appeared again with comments and conversation. Again she proclaimed that she was staying home for the holiday and nothing would make her leave home at all.
With a sudden rush of emotion she grabbed me and gave me an endearing hug. She looked at my husband and told him I was a sweet special angel and he had better take good care of me. Hubby agreed as we smiled and walked to the exit.
In the parking lot he leaned over and said, "Who was that and where do you know her from?"
"I have no idea", I replied. "We just started talking in the store today."
He hugged me big and kissed my cheek.
So aside from the idea that this story makes my cheek blush with heat.....it brings me back to the importance of taking time for people. I don't mean that we have to become best friends for the next 50 years with each person we meet. I do mean that a smile or kind word can mean the world to someone.
I don't know what exactly I did today that impacted this person but I do know that somehow I changed her world for the better and she finished her day with a lighter heart.
It really is easy and infectious to touch others lives. I just wanted to encourage you in that today.