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

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Shoveling It In

     Last night and this morning we finally had our first snowstorm of the winter - at least enough that the roads and sidewalks were covered with a mixture of snow and ice.  Since lots of people struggle with snow in a variety of ways, I was sure there would be ample opportunity to offer my assistance.  After shoveling our own walkway, I headed out to look for such an opportunity.
     Not far from my house is a group of beautiful townhomes where the majority of the residents are seniors.  I knew that the homeowners' association would plow the streets around the townhomes, but I wasn't sure if there were any arrangements to shovel residents' driveways and walkways.  As I drove by, it appeared that most had not been shoveled. 
     I had about 45 minutes to an hour that I could devote to the task, so I selected one home and decided to shovel their entire driveway and the walkway to their front door.  I didn't knock on their door or announce in any way what I was doing.  I simply got to work, completed the job, and left.  I find that shoveling can sometimes be satisfying as I get that sense of completion seeing section by section turn from snow-covered to clean.  It was that much more rewarding today, knowing that someone was going to emerge from their home later to find their area unexpectedly clear.
     I continue to find satisfaction in both the anonymous as well as the personal acts.  Sometimes it's fun to offer assistance to a known person and observe how it makes their day.  Other times, like today, it can be rewarding simply to know that I made a difference and to imagine what someone's reaction will be.

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