They do mean a lot sometimes. I thought of this the other day while petting my cat as he lay all cozy and comfy on my brand new bra. I’d just gotten it out of the box and laid it on the my computer desk until I could toss the box in the trash and gather it back up, and in an instant he crawled his furry butt right onto it. He sniffed, rubbed his face on it a bit, and then settled in for a nap. And I let him. I had to wash it anyway, and I know from past experience that this is how he feels loved. Some folks might have shooed him away, but I took the opportunity to bond with him. Since he can be a little skittish sometimes, that’s important. It’s such a little thing, but it meant so much to him (according to his contented purr).
That’s what I’m posting about today. Those little things that make a difference to others that we ourselves might not even think about as being any kind of consequential. As a writer, it’s funny to hear what people say about my books; some of the random or remote details that stand out to readers that I’d never have realized had any resonance turn out to be very important to them. As a reader, I’m sometimes shocked when I discuss a book with others who read it and discover some small part that made a huge impact on me that no one else even noticed. Reading is such a personal experience that I shouldn’t be surprised by this, but I am. The written word is powerful indeed!
But so is the spoken word, and even more so when those words are unexpected.
A few weeks ago, I made a point to mention to a colleague that he’d be perfect for a job that opened up where we work, one a couple of levels beyond his current classification. I told him I thought he was perfectly qualified and would do a wonderful job--just because I really believe it--even though I figured he’d be applying anyway. He told me it made his day to hear that, because he wanted to apply but was feeling a little unsure. My comment gave him a boost I didn’t think he needed, and it reminded me that sometimes people we think are confident still need encouragement.
The saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” However, I think they both have more power than we realize. A kind gesture like holding a door or giving a simple smile can make a big difference. A few positive comments even when we don’t think they’re needed can go a long way in changing a so-so day into a great one. As writers, we never know where our influence will begin or end, and as neighbors, siblings, friends, lovers, etc., we don’t know either.
Can you think of a small act or a few words that had an impact on you or on someone else? Please do share and have a fantastic day!