The smallest gesture – whether kind or cruel, can make or break anyone’s day. We all know this to be true. 

If your barista serves you a cup of coffee with a smile – you’re likely to smile back; even if the coffee is bitter. If the stranger in the car passing by gives a friendly wave, you’re likely to wave back; even if you’re late for work. If the credit card technician has spunk in her voice and treats you with respect, you’re likely to be kind in return; even if your payment is late.

The opposite is true, of course in all of these situations. The grumpy barista, the driver who cuts you off and the credit card tech who refuses to give you a break – can ruin your day. 

Maybe you’ve been there? I know I have. 

Thankfully these days, the people I encounter are usually very pleasant, likely because I refuse to surround myself with negative nellies. They’ll just bring a girl down. 

There’s a stranger in Colorado who deserves my thanks. She and I share a common trait. We’ve never met. I don’t know her shoe size or hair color. We’ve never even spoken to one another. Yet we have something in common too unique to ignore. 

We share the same name.

Leslie Means and I also share a very similar e-mail address. It’s so similar – she’ll often receive e-mails meant for me. They are always e-mails from you guys – full of kind words and encouragement after reading one of my columns. 

I treasure those e-mails.

It would be easy for Leslie Means in Colorado to delete them, or ignore them or send me a message of frustration. But she doesn’t. She never has. The first time she forwarded a message on to me – she too shared kind words. 

I liked her instantly. The same name bit, helped. 

Throughout my three years of writing, we’ve shared numerous e-mails back and forth. They mostly consist of her forwarding and me responding with thanks. But there’s always kindness in the gesture. 

I got two from her last week – both from you all. Each message made me smile, the second brought tears to my eyes. When I finished reading, I was so thankful to you for writing – but maybe even more thankful to Leslie Means in Colorado for sending back to me. 

Both gestures are simple yet grand. Thank you for writing me. Thank you for taking a moment to stop me in the grocery store, or the movie theatre or the park to tell me you read what I write. Such acts encourage my soul and keep me writing each day. 

And thank you to the stranger in Colorado who hits that forward button each and every time. I love getting messages from her – because that means they are from you, too. And thank makes my day each and every time.

Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.