A Little Bit Goes a Long Way

Mary - Syracuse, New York
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that kind gestures go a long way. There are certain things in life you cannot control. Things like death, sickness, unemployment, accidents, and events that take place whether you want them to or not. I think that when you have things that you can control, you should not take them for granted, you should embrace them.

I believe that you should always hold the door for the person behind you, and say thank you to anyone who returns the favor. I believe that a boy should always pay for a girl on a first date. I believe that less fortunate people can always use the spare change in your pocket. I believe that telling someone to “have a great day,” and really meaning it, goes a long way. I believe that if someone drops something, the person standing next to him or her should offer to pick it up. I believe that saying thank you and really meaning it goes a lot farther than saying it just to say it. Bottom line, I believe in doing nice things for people, without expecting a reward. If all kind gestures were rewarded, then they wouldn’t mean as much.

A couple summers ago, I was in New York City visiting my sister. I was wandering aimlessly around Times Square because I had misplaced my wallet somewhere between morning and afternoon. An older man, who looked as if he was selling flowers for a living, approached me as I was standing on the sidewalk. He handed me a rose, looked me in the eye and said “This one’s on me, a rose can make even the worst days better.” This was a man, a complete stranger, reaching out to me because he felt like it. A man who looked as if he didn’t have the money to spare in the first place, and here he was giving one of his flowers away for free. I walked away feeling better than I had all day, realizing that kind gestures do go a long way, whether you’re the giver or the receiver.

It is gestures like this that I believe affect us in our everyday lives. Not just for me, but for anyone who stops and actually appreciates them. Saying thank you to someone, or holding the door for a stranger becomes somewhat of a habit to most people. It is when you stop and actually appreciate the kind gesture that is being done or say thank you and truly mean it, that it really counts. I find myself paying close attention to things of this nature. In my mind if I can affect someone’s day, even in the smallest way, then it’s worth it. There are millions of opportunities every day to contribute to this belief, so you might as well go out and seize the task at hand.