I received an e-mail from one of you this week. I love receiving positive messages. They’re much better than the alternative. Thankfully, not many negative notes cross my path. I avoid politics and opinion pieces for that very reason.
It’s funny how long a snarky comment can stay etched on my heart. I wonder if you feel it, too.
One unkind word can dampen even the post positive spirit. Have you noticed how easy it is to be negative? Take for example the following frustrations: a car cuts you off; the guy in the drive thru restaurant messes up your order; the lady in the grocery store writes a check instead of using a card which holds up the check-out line. It’s easy in these moments to be snappy and annoyed and frustrated. And those negative emotions can easily be transferred onto some unsuspecting stranger, thus continuing the negative cycle.
Some days, being negative is just the easier route to take.
When I come across a kind soul, someone who goes out of their way to be positive and uplifting, I try to capture the moment in my mind and my heart and keep it for the frustrating days or the frustrating people.
Which brings me back to that e-mail from you.
Friday morning I was tired. I could lie and say I was exhausted from working so hard earlier in the week, but truthfully, I stayed up too late watching TV the night prior. I took a shower, made myself a large cup of coffee and sat down by my closet mirror to cover up the pending wrinkles and dark shadows under my eyes. But before I could tackle the make-up, I had to glance at my phone. It’s a hard habit to kick, especially when you own an online business. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.)
I was checking all the notifications and e-mails feeling annoyed at my pending tasks for the day and maybe a little burned out by it all. And then I read your words. Not a long e-mail, thankfully not a mean one, either. You told me you were feeling tired, too. And that my column from a few days prior made you laugh. You considered my words a “wonderful reward to slogging through the day.”
And that made me cry; the good tears, not the bad ones. I felt humbled and honored and worthy of this sort of career I’ve made for myself. That’s all it took. A normal Friday morning full of black coffee and daily errands turned into an uplifting morning, which led to an incredible afternoon and an overall wonderful weekend.
I’m etching the kind words on my heart these days. Slowly, the negative ones put there by strangers or past experiences or my own critical mind, are starting to vanish. And that makes me happy.
Is it really that easy? Can a few kind words change a day, a month a year or a lifetime?
A happy person doesn’t get angry at the guy who accidentally cuts them off in traffic, because the happy person knows they’ve done that before, too.
A happy person is patient with the guy in the drive thru who was tired from working long hours and simply made a mistake.
A happy person smiles when they see a lady pull out her checkbook at the grocery store, because it reminds them of a simpler time before this crazy, technology filled world.
Happy people spread happy. We should all try it. Take a moment to share a few positive, kind words with a co-worker, a friend, your mom, your sister, your spouse or a random stranger. Those 30 seconds can make a big difference in the lives of others.
There’s also a good chance your kind comment will be returned to you when you need it most.