It's that time of year again where we focus on being thankful and kind, and think more about good will toward men, which got me thinking about a post I wrote awhile back…
"You don't get a second chance to make a first impression."
I've always believed this quote to be true, but I didn't realize, until very recently, just how true it was for me personally. I had a classmate from my junior high days contact me the other day (They know who they are) after reading my blog. They said how junior high was rough for them, but that I was one of the people they could look back on and have a positive memory because I took the time to be a friend and treat them like a normal person. They said, "It's probably a case of one person having more of an impact than they realize on another." That really struck a cord with me. I was incredibly touched and humbled, and then very inspired to write this post.
"Kindness in ourselves is the honey that blunts the sting of unkindness in another."
-Walter Savage Landor
"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
This person moved away after Junior high and just recently found me on Facebook, and it has been many years since those days, so it is so true that even the smallest of gestures can make a big impact and the impression we make is a lasting one. The paths we choose to take and the actions we choose to make not only affect us and who we are, but it also affects those whose paths we cross and whose lives we enter, no matter how long or short of a time that may be.
"Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough."
We all need to try to be as patient, as tolerant, as open minded and less judgmental, as thoughtful, and as kind as possible to everyone we meet because we don't know that person's struggles and we don't know just how much of a difference we could make in their lives with the simplest of gestures. Just a smile can go a very long way. We also never know where and in what situation we might find the greatest of people and the truest of friends, when our paths might cross again, and the difference they could make in our lives as well...
"Kind hearts are the gardens, kind thoughts are the roots, kind words are the flowers, and kind deeds are the fruits. Take care of your garden and keep out the weeds; fill it with sunshine, kind words, and kind deeds."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It feels wonderful, knowing that I made a difference to a person who was struggling and that this many years later, they still consider me a friend. Don't get me wrong, I can't say that every person I've ever met feels this way; I'm definitely not perfect and have been less than kind to some people in my life, and there are days that my husband and son don't like to be in the same room with me (lol). But, I do try to be a nice person even when I'm having "one of those days" because I do know how it feels to be on the receiving end of harsh judgement and negativity...
"In everything, therefore, treat people the way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets."
It can be hard at times, I know, but I think we should all challenge ourselves to have this giving and kindhearted mindset all year around, not just this time of year alone. How we treat others, I believe, has sort of a "butterfly effect." Giving someone just a simple smile can set a tone to their day and then for the day of those people they come in contact with, just like being rude and negative can do the exact same. Don't be hesitant to do simple and kind gestures and when someone does one for you, pay it forward…
Next Thursday is Thanksgiving, so I'll be taking a bloggie break. So I want to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving.