I wasn’t planning on writing this blog. I had other ideas floating around in my head, but I was so struck by something that happened the other day I just wanted to write about it.
Earlier in the week, I was the closing keynote speaker at a conference with several hundred attendees. My presentation was very well received, and afterward there were several people who wanted to thank me for an entertaining and informative session.
With a number of people standing in front of me, a woman came up and, over the shoulder of the person standing in front of her, she said, “Thank you for the wonderful presentation. I just want to give you this card.” She extended her arm, handed me the card, and disappeared.
I took the card, slid it into my pocket, and turned my attention back to the conference attendees.
I assumed it was her business card.
I finished my conversations, packed up my things, and headed home. Once there, I emptied my pockets and fingered through the business cards I had gotten from people at the conference.
I was quite surprised when I came to the woman’s card. It was printed in several colors on one side with nothing on the backside. I still thought it was a business card. And then I read it. In the middle of the card in large letters it said:
“Thank you! Just a note to say thanks. Something you did made me smile.”
Off to the right, in smaller letters, was the following message:
“Pass it on. Share this card with someone who brightens your day. Give the gift of kindness.”
And you know what? She brightened my day. I didn’t even know my day could have gotten any brighter. The conference went well. I felt comfortable in front of the large group. They laughed and had a good time. My ego was sufficiently stroked. And I was going home to my favorite girl.
Then this card came out of the blue and made me feel even better. And it had nothing to do with my ego. It was the warmth of knowing that I had been of service to someone and made her day brighter. That’s the very reason I do what I do, but it’s easy to forget it when my ego is getting stroked after a good presentation.
So now, how about you? What can you do that will brighten someone’s day?
It could be something small like a card with a message on it. It could be a favor. It could be doing something for someone without being asked or waiting around for the credit. Here’s what I know: you will brighten the day of the person you help.
Think about the power of gestures like this. They can improve moods, increase self-confidence, and give a greater sense of connection…in you as the giver. Just think what they will do for the receiver.
And it doesn’t have to be anonymous. You could give the gift of kindness, which could improve relationships at home and work, improve morale at the office, and maybe even increase productivity.
I’m reminded of the words of Maya Angelou: “People won’t remember what you said. People won’t remember what you did. But people will always remember how you made them feel.”
This is the key. When you treat people in such a way that makes them feel good, feel wanted, and feel like part of the group, you will change the world.