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, December 3, 2012

Who Gets the Flowers?

     It's been awhile since I gave flowers to a stranger and so I figured today was as good a day as any to make someone feel special.  While I was picking up a few items at Wegmans, I stopped in the flower section and picked out a nice colorful bouquet (of course, I have no idea what kind they were - but they were definitely colorful!).  Though sometimes I just "play it by ear" in terms of choosing a recipient, today I had something specific in mind.
     Quite near my house we have a nursing home that specializes in working with patients who have Alzheimer's.  I swung by there on my way home and entered the lobby, flowers in hand.  When I got to the reception desk, I saw a nurse standing there talking to the receptionist.  Telling her that I needed some help, I presented her with the flowers and explained that I wanted her to give them to someone she felt could use some cheering up.  The nurse gave me a look of amazement, together with a big smile, and exclaimed, "That is so nice.  Who are you?"  I gave her my name and just said that I'm someone who likes to do nice things each day.  Watching this transpire, the receptionist looked at me and said that in her whole life, she's never seen anything like that happen.  I hope she begins to see more of it!  With that, I quietly headed on my way.
     I've witnessed this type of reaction many times throughout these past months.  It's as if people don't quite know how to process what seems like random kindness - especially from a stranger.  It doesn't fit what they know or expect of people, and so they're confused.  They're delighted too, but definitely confused.  
     This act definitely touched more than just the patient who will ultimately receive the flowers.  In fact, it may likely have more impact on the nurse and the receptionist than on the patient.  And hopefully, that impact creates a spark in them that causes them to do an intentional act of kindness for someone else as well.

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