The simple things matter most. All of us have experienced these surprising, unexpected actions that are memorable. I still remember one from fourth grade. When everyone else refused, a student allowed me to get in front of him in the lunch line. Sometimes spontaneous acts of kindness and other times, everyday gifts, are not things that require a lot of planning or thinking. I recently experienced one of these.
On a trip to Quito, my mom had her computer fixed. As we were leaving, my brother and I noticed a small container of candy corn on the secretary’s desk. Later she told us that they were brought from the United States. We asked for a few pieces, and relished them. Our eyes closed and faces relaxed. My family loves candy corn and we hadn’t eaten it in over a year. Upon seeing our excitement, the pleasant secretary gave us the entire container of candy corn. With wide smiles that stretched miles, we gladly accepted. This simple action lit up our week (our next taxi driver got a good tip).
Have you ever stopped to think about the pleasant things that simply exist? Laughter, smiles, flowers, etc. Take laughter, for instance. There are so many forms of it. As author Francis Chan puts it, there are “wheezes, snorts, silent, loud, (and) obnoxious” types of laughter. Think about if there were no such thing as laughter and smiles. Laughter is like fire. It spreads and feeds itself. Sharing a moment of laughter “brightens” up any day. We often become accustomed to the simple things and don’t appreciate them as gifts.
From laughter to candy corn, these things will stick with me for a long time. I am reminded of the Liberty Mutual commercials where people do simple actions of kindness that are seen by others, and then passed along. Whether they are things that remind you of something or that give you good reason to smile, everyone remembers the small but special events, acts of kindness. Reciprocate this. The next time you have the opportunity, hold the door longer than expected, help someone clean up, or greet them with a big smile. This stuff doesn’t take much time, but it makes a difference. These are the simple things.