It’s easy to lose sight of the blessings in your life. Taking the time to spend a moment with someone less fortunate than you can give you incredible perspective.
A few years back, I had a break between appointments, so I stopped in a Starbucks in Annapolis, Maryland to get some work done. It was a very hectic day, and I had a lot of emails to respond to.
The only spot open was at an 8 person table, where an elderly lady was sitting. I took a seat, smiled hello, and began working on my iPad.
About 5 minutes in, she said, “this is my Percy”, and showed me a picture of her cat – sitting in a small box (actually, overflowing out of one). I smiled, said “nice”, and continued working. She then proceeded to tell me about her other cat, who had died recently, and continued talking as I worked.
I was overloaded with work that day, and the last thing I needed was to be sidetracked by a strange woman talking about her cats. For a brief moment, I actually considered relocating.
I then took a step back, and looked at the this situation more clearly.
Here I was, good job, married to a wonderful woman, with 5 great kids, blessed beyond belief. And across the table was an old, lonely woman, with only her cats to keep her company, reaching out for a little human interaction.
I literally felt ashamed that I had brushed her off. So I closed my iPad, and asked her how old Percy was. Her face lit up, and she proceeded to tell me about him, and the previous cats she had owned. It turns out that, after a long teaching career, she retired, and went to work for the SPCA, which led to her adopting homeless animals.
Our entire conversation lasted no more than 5 minutes, but I could tell it made her day. Just being able to talk to someone without getting the brush-off meant the world to her. And truth be told, it meant the world to me too.
I was in a positive mood for the rest of the day, which enhanced my interaction with everyone else I spoke to. All from taking a few minutes to talk with someone less fortunate than I.
It doesn’t take much effort to brighten other peoples’ days – as well as your own…