Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Monday, January 16, 2012

Brightening Someone's Day

     Today's act was a simple but fun one. Here's what happened:  
     After bringing my daughter back to college, I stopped to spend some time with my in-laws. They live in a beautiful gated community where guests have to first stop at a guardhouse to check in and to pick up a token which is used to open the gate arm that keeps unauthorized people from entering their particular neighborhood. Since I still had most of the gift cards I had bought a couple of weeks ago, I figured this might be a nice opportunity to brighten someone's day by using one.
     As I pulled up to the guardhouse to get my token, the young woman in the booth leaned out to ask me who I was visiting. She looked a little tired, maybe even bored. After we handled the necessary details, I asked her if she was coffee drinker. When she said that she was, I questioned whether she was more of a Starbucks person or a Dunkin Donuts person. With more of a smile, she told me she really loved them both, but if she had to choose she'd say Starbucks. So I offered her a Starbucks gift card. She was quite surprised and pleased and asked "Don't you want it?". When I told her that it was for her and that I simply wanted her to have a nice day she broke into a big smile and thanked me. Happy to have made her day, I proceeded into the neighborhood to begin my visit.
     It was fun to see how a simple act of kindness could totally change her countenance. I wonder how her new outlook on today affected the way she greeted the next guests to arrive and I wonder if her greeting affected their days in any way? I'll never know, but at least I gave it a start.

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