When Carolyn relayed the story to me, she said she felt wonderful that someone would go out of their way for her. I said I'm sure the young man also felt great to help you. She said, "Oh, I didn't think about that. I hope it did make him happy. I know it made my day."
We tend to take for granted the little acts of kindness we do for each other. If we're not making a meaningful impact on the world because we haven't figured out time travel, we feel our lives are insignificant. Some people seem destined to make incredible discoveries that can change our lives for the better. The truth is, we can contribute to each other's well-being, and that's just as important.
I would feel lost and very lonely if I didn't have my family and friends. I learned a long time ago to not only be grateful but to let them know how much they've added to my life. My husband, brothers, sister, and nephews have consistently played a part in supporting and encouraging me when I need it most. When I look for advice, my friend and dance partner, Dawn, always takes my call. My Toastmaster friends make themselves available to listen to my presentations. I don't take any of it for granted. I try to show my appreciation and love by always being there for them as well.
Small gestures can be a big deal to someone who has a hard time asking for help. Being mindful of the people around you and paying attention to their feelings contributes to our compassion and empathy. It's doing something nice without expecting anything for it. Selfless acts lift our spirits and give us a sense of community.
The next time you're feeling discouraged and unsure of your place in the world, think about what you can do to help someone in need. Volunteer work is a great way to give back to your town and to meet new people. It will also raise your self-esteem and confidence. Studies have shown that people who do volunteer work experience less stress in their lives.
On a smaller scale, hold the door open for someone. Compliment the person standing next to you. Pay for a stranger's coffee. It's a fantastic boost of positive energy that will wash away the blues. You'll have a great sense of satisfaction that your place in the world matters.
In the meantime, I'll let you know if I make any progress with my time machine.