Tiny Kindnesses and Courageous Acts

Good acts do not have to be grand

One morning in the office where I worked a colleague came up to me.

She said, “I’m sorry, what is your name?”

I told her.

Then she said, “I just wanted to say thank you. You probably don’t remember but on my first day here you opened the door to me. You asked me asked my name and you welcomed me. It was really nice to have such a friendly greeting, especially with first day nerves, and it started my time here in a really positive way.”

We spoke for a minute or two and told each other a little more about each other. When our conversation was over I was glowing. I did recall that day and I did remember being welcoming. I was glad in hindsight that I hadn’t been a dick and acted in my normal nice way, which I’m sure was not influenced that much by her being cute.

What later struck me about our whole conversation, almost two months after the fact, was how she had answered a little kindness with another little kindness. It also takes courage to go up to someone you don’t know and start a conversation (well it does in me, it is extraordinarily difficult). And to then refer back to some brief earlier encounter, well I wouldn’t dare presume that little old me would have made someone’s memory list. But she had decided to do so in order to say thank you for something that had had an impact on her. I may have not remembered, or could have just dismissed it –the whole thing could have been very embarrassing -but she felt it was important to her to say something to acknowledge the gesture.

I loved the spirit of that and it was a great reminder of the value in even the smallest acts of kindness and courage.