Do we ever really know the impact we have on others? A smile when walking past someone, saying hello to a stranger, holding open a door, a simple nod of recognition. Simple pleasantries that may change the course of a day for you, a loved one, a friend or even a stranger.
It was my first Christmas after my divorce I was off to the mall my list in hand to keep me on track with my shopping. I wasn’t looking forward to the crowds and I had some apprehensions about my strict budget, but I was determined to do the best I could. First thing on my list, a new sofa. I knew exactly what I wanted. I walked into the store and there it was, a cream colored camel back with a soft floral print. Made to order, it was perfect and could be delivered in a few days. My heart leaped with joy this was going to be a good day.
I methodically went through my list, my angels must have been with me because each item on the list just magically appeared. I then decided to get some lunch in the food court. To my dismay, tray in hand there was no where to sit. I spotted a woman sitting alone, I approached her and asked if she would mind sharing her table. She nodded and I sat down. She seemed sad and lost in her thoughts. I slowly started a conversation about the weather, how busy the mall was, then what I really wanted to say, how I couldn’t believe my luck about finding everything on my list without searching. My enthusiasm was bubbling over so I continued to tell her about the cookies I planned to bake that evening and so on and so on. Finally, I came up for air and noticed she was smiling. She said I wasn’t in much of a mood for Christmas this year, I’ve experienced a lot of loss and have been feeling quite sad, but you’ve changed that for me. I’m glad you came to share my table. She told me of some of the hardships she had faced and decided it was time for a change of attitude. We finished our meals, wished each other a Merry Christmas and went our separate ways.
Next, I was off to purchase a few special cards. The massive selection was daunting but I found the correct section and focused in. I then heard a young gentleman say my friend wants to wish you a Merry Christmas. Looking down there was a young man in a wheelchair typing out Merry Christmas so I could hear it. I smiled and wished him the same. Once I paid for my purchases I was again drawn to the young man walking over to him I placed my hand on his shoulder and said, thank you.
After getting into my car I sat for a moment feeling an overwhelming amount of gratitude for the way my day had unfolded and the angels I had meant along the way, the sad ones, the happy ones and the ones peacefully moving through the crowd giving an occasional nod to let me know they were aware of me and to remind me the power of a smile.
Do we ever really know the difference our presence makes? Pick yourself up, point the corners of your mouth in an upward position, stand tall and allow the magic of you to brush off the world around you. You do make a difference every day. Be kind, walk with a gentle strength, smile and that will create a beautiful space rippling out and then coming back to you. Breathe and enjoy life.