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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Say Something Nice Today

The most incredible thing happened yesterday and I'm not quite sure I can put it into words. I'll try.

I usually give small gifts to the custodian and the security guard at the building where I work. This year, I added the lady at the cafeteria. She's always been very kind and tries to make conversation with me despite her difficulty with English.

People who speak English as a second language have my utmost respect. In return I usually ask her to teach me a couple of words in Vietnamese.

When I gave her the Christmas present she hugged me as if she didn't want to let go, and there were tears in her eyes. I'd never seen her that way before. She regained her composure then thanked me and gave a little bow. I surprised myself because I bowed back. ~grin~

I walked away feeling good that I made her so happy. But here's where the incredible part comes in.

Yesterday, two of my friends found this lady sobbing in the women's bathroom and tried to comfort her. This poor soul had been in the pit of despair. She felt alone and friendless.

It brought back visions of Peter Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life. We never know how we affect each other or what we mean to one another until that person is gone from our lives.

She thought no one cared about her when in actuality she's well liked in our workplace community. It was kismet that I happened to bring her a gift just when she needed it most. I'm sorry I wasn't there for her when she broke down, but I'm glad I was there for her on her way back up.

So today, I'd like to beseech you to call or write someone who's made a difference in your life. That difference doesn't have to be earth shattering. Sometimes the people who make the biggest difference in our lives are the ones who stay within our periphery.

Buy some gloves for the mailman. Write a letter to your sister. Call a friend who's listened to you whine without complaint. A kindness is never unappreciated and it doesn't need to be reciprocated. Tell someone they made a difference in your life. It could mean much more than you will ever know.

I've been giving and receiving gifts for the last two weeks. But that last gift---the hug from a lady overwhelmed with emotion was the best present of all.

Christmas is about sharing. And although this lady and I are from vastly different cultures, we shared the most precious thing of all. Human contact.

Life is so brief. Go out and tell someone you appreciate them today.


Sherrill Quinn said...

What a wonderful story, Maria. I'm so glad you followed your instinct when it told you to get the lunch lady a little somethin'. :)

Maria Zannini said...

You just never know...

J.S. said...


Just stumbled upon this very post. Very inspiring and encouraging. Makes me realize how reluctant we are sometimes to tell people all of the positive things we feel about them. It's really worth it, even though at first one might feel a bit self-conscious.

Maria Zannini said...

So true. Thanks for stopping by JS!