Almost every morning, I go for a short walk up my street and back. Sometimes I extend it to a trip around the neighborhood or after I return to the house I’ll hop on my stationary bike for another ten or fifteen minutes. It all depends on how I’m feeling. This morning I happened to be a bit behind in my normal routine so my walk was a little later than usual, but the cool weather still made it enjoyable. At one point I saw an elderly man making his way down his drive way towards the mailbox. The mail-lady hasn’t been by yet so I assumed he was putting something in the mailbox. I didn’t really think much of it but as I walked closer we exchanged pleasantries. It was only after standing there and talking for a minute did the man tell me what he put in the mailbox.
It was a bottle of water.
He told me that he would put out a bottle of water every Monday morning for the mail carriers as they come through the neighborhood. He told me that the normal lady has her own water usually but he wanted to offer something just to show that he was thinking of her and wished her well through the day. Maybe one bottle of water would make her day even the slightest bit more enjoyable.
“And that’s the key word,” he said. “Enjoy.”
He told me that we should enjoy life and help others do the same. He also told me that he leaves something on Tuesdays for the garbage guys as well. He said he thought those guys work so hard that he wanted them to know that at least someone appreciates them.
Here’s a man, who struggled to walk to the mailbox, but still wanted to do something for someone else. He leaned heavily on his cane to the mailbox and back up the driveway. He still found it important to be able to do something for someone else. He was doing it out of the pure goodness of his heart. He wasn’t posting about it on social media. Sure he was telling me about it but using it as an example to get me to understand his point of being kind to other people. Bringing other people joy made him smile and that’s important.
It was a pleasant reminder of the things we should be doing. It’s easy to get swept away by the news and reports of all that’s wrong in the world. We often forget just how simple life can be sometimes. Just to stop and think about doing something nice for someone else. One simple act of kindness can change someone else’s day entirely. I realize that it’s not always easy. There’s been plenty of days where I have been just totally a mental wreck. Trying to cheer myself up is difficult enough, much less someone else. It’s on those days though when someone steps up and makes me smile. A random text from a friend, or a compliment from a stranger. Even if we can’t make someone else smile all the time, if we do it when we can, then every little bit adds up.
If you can, today, be the reason someone else smiles.