Today’s post comes from Barbara in Robbinsdale.
One of our regular Trail Baboon readers and participants, Plain Jane, offered a comment on Saturday that has stayed with me all weekend. She mentioned how wonderful it was to receive a written thank you from someone she had helped out in the past. Here’s most of what she wrote:
Fifteen years ago, Danny had returned to the Twin-Cities after finishing his degree at UCLA’s film school. The economy had tanked, and, of course, even if it hadn’t, the degree Danny had obtained wouldn’t necessarily make him a shoo-in for most job openings. I took pity on him, and offered him a job doing data entry into a computer system. He worked for me several months on a well-defined project. It was, at best, a menial job, but it provided him some income, a daily lunch, and probably most importantly, the chance to get out of his parents’ house.
His letter today took me by complete surprise. He has lived in Seattle since 2010, and I have had no contact with him since then.
Here’s his closing paragraph: “Margaret, when I reflect on the people I’ve been lucky to know during my life, you are unquestionably one of them. Please know that I will never forget your kindness to me.”
I’m touched, and gratified that some small gesture on my part has made a difference in Danny’s life. Be kind, you never know what small effort on your part will make a difference in someone’s life.
Every day we make hundreds of small decisions… most of which don’t seem that they will make any real impact on the world. At some point, though, we have each performed a kindness for which someone else is very grateful.
And in turn – we may each be thankful to someone else for an act of kindness – it might be something the person is not even aware of. When my son was in 6th grade, his experiences caused me to recall many details about my own 6th grade experiences. I ended up writing a long letter relating these memories to my 6th grade teacher, who had helped me out when I was the new girl at school. She was so moved by the letter that she eventually called me (being unable to write at that point), and we carried on a Christmas-card correspondence for years.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone who has performed an act of kindness could know the impact it has made?
Recall an act of kindness you have performed or received that is worthy of a gratitude letter.