I had dinner last night with an old friend of mine. We started out together in public accounting many many years ago, we became good friends and I still consider him one of 3 of my best friends. Over the years we have drifted apart, not for any real reason, his wife passed away, he remarried, I left town for a while, just a series of little things. It was great seeing him and although I hadn’t planned it, I stopped and thanked him for his friendship all these years and the kindness that he and his wife showed to me during a difficult period in my life. We parted company after dinner, and promised to get together again soon without letting so much time go by, I hope we do that.
As I was getting ready for work this morning, I thought about our dinner, and I started thinking about gifts I have received over my life, his friendship being one of them. At my age, I have had a lot of birthdays, Christmas’, Father’s Days and have received a lot of gifts but I can only remember a few of them and it surprises me what they are. A pair of slipper socks from a sister in law, a book on the Civil War by the same sister in law, a rice cooker from my sister when we were just young adults and barely had any money between us; I used that cooker for 30 years.
Perhaps my favorite was a call I received from my Dad on my 30th birthday. He was in the navy when I was born, aboard an LST (ship) stationed in Japan. His shipmates, when they heard the news (before he did by the way), pulled him out of bed and threw him overboard. As I reflect on these gifts and events, I realize that they are just little things that had a big impact and that life is often that way. Mostly life is not defined by the big earth shattering events, but by the little things over time. True, some people’s lives are changed in an instant and forever by one single event, but usually we are formed by the constant series of little things that surround us every day.
So I leave you with this, in your life you don’t have to do something big to create a memory for someone, it is the little things that might have the biggest impacts. That daily smile to one of your coworkers who just might really need it at that moment, the common courtesies, please and thank you and you’re welcome. Maybe a wave as you pass by someone or a short note, try it, you might be surprised.
Have a great weekend everyone.