Do you remember the last time someone ‘made your day’ and how you felt inside?
Can you remember a time you made someone else’s day? Was it something you said, perhaps some kind words. Or maybe it was something you did, like an unexpected, good deed.
Did it happen naturally, without any forethought or was it a conscious choice you made and planned?
Did any part of you wonder what you might get in return or was it an altruistic act, kindness for the sake of kindness?
One of the interesting things about either, making someone else’s day or someone making your day, is how deep the love feels. I’ve often experienced feeling intensely touched by the actions of others. Their actions don’t even need to be directed toward me. Just witnessing love in action is wonderful, no matter where it’s found.
This past Sunday, while driving on our way home from the local food co-op, my wife and I were approaching a traffic light and it turned red, giving me a chance to make a roadside donation. That’s my phrase for offering some money to someone by the side of the road. In this case, it was a couple. I handed the folded twenty I keep in my car door for this purpose, to the young woman standing closest to our car. She reached for the money and offered me a grateful smile and their thanks in return. The traffic light remained red for a long time, which gave her the opportunity to explain that she and her husband were on their way back home to Louisiana and this would be very helpful.
I know some folks think giving money to ‘pan-handlers’ (the term most often applied to someone asking for money by the side of the road), isn’t a very good idea. I respect their point of view, and yet have come to a different conclusion and from my experience it’s a sure way to ‘make someone’s day’, no matter what they use the money for. I have offered myself a lot of practice in fully releasing any strings I might have wanted to attach to the money and so, both the giver and receiver in this exchange can share in making each other’s day.
Awhile back, a friend of mine told me she reads a book I’ve wrote (Little Buddha Book One) every night before she goes to bed. She told me it makes her happy, calms her from her day and allows her to drift off to sleep smiling. These kind words not only made my day, but they brought tears to my eyes. As a writer, unless someone tells you, you never know if your writings mean anything to anyone, so it was a very precious gift to me.
Knowing how good making someone’s day feels, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. I need an answer to this question.
What could it be? Is life so filled with ‘necessary things’ that I don’t have any time left over?
I immediately poked a hole in this theory. The two exchanges I’ve mentioned in this post account for perhaps four minutes in total, which easily tells me I DO have the time.
So, what’s the real reason?
I think it’s pretty simple actually. It’s a lack of focus on my part, an absence of attention to things that could matter greatly to me in my life and to others I come into contact with. I don’t say this to criticize myself (or you by proxy, as a reader). I say this to myself to heighten my awareness of what is, or can be, important and deeply meaningful to me in my life.
Sometimes all it takes is a moment of recognition that making someone’s day is a pathway for love to enter the world. A simple, direct, heart touching way and it’s free for anyone who wants it.
What a blessing.