It happened at church one day. I heard my friend talking about an event she went to where she was given a free copy of a new Bible translation I had been excited to read. At this time, I didn’t really know my friend very well. She was talking about how thrilled she was to get this free copy.
I asked someone else who had been at the event if there were extra free copies because I would really like one. The answer was no. Not long after that, my friend came up to me, handed me her copy of the Bible and said, “I want you to have this.” She had just been talking about how excited she was to receive this Bible–and now she was going to give it up just because she heard that I would really like it.
That really made my day and still—over two years later—means a lot to me. It wasn’t so much the act of getting the Bible, as the thought behind her giving it to me. Her actions will forever have a lasting impact on me.
You Don’t need Grand Gestures
It doesn’t have to take much to make someone’s day. It could be a smile. It could be stopping to just chat about something. It could be listening to them as they tell you about something difficult in their life.
Sometimes it may feel like doing something that will really mean a lot to someone will take too much effort. Because of this belief, we may avoid helping others. We think, “I could never help with that person’s problem.” Then we end up missing out on an opportunity to brighten someone’s day because we feel like we can’t possibly do anything.
It may be true that you can’t fix their problem, but do you really have to fix it? Most of the time they probably wouldn’t even want or expect you to try to fix their problem. We often make helping another person much harder than it really has to be.
Maybe you know someone who has lost someone close to them. Or maybe they are going through some unimaginable difficulty in their lives. Simply saying, “That must be really difficult,” could be the highlight of that person’s day.
You didn’t fix the problem. It is not gone because of what you said, but you validated their pain. You let them know they are not silly, stupid, or too weak in your eyes. Their problem is real and you let them know you believe it.
The act of validating a person can go a long way in making their burden much easier to bear. They don’t feel so alone anymore. They know that someone cares. You care.
Making their day could mean showing them kindness in some small way like my friend did for me. Maybe they have a life full of strife and turmoil. One act of kindness like that could be the bright spot that they cling to when times are tough. I have heard stories where one stranger smiled at a person who was about to take their own life and that one smile is what made them change their mind.
One time I was feeling pretty awful. My life was not going very well for me and one of my friends gave me a big smile. That smile placed a spark of happiness in my otherwise dark day. Try it sometime. Say “Hi” to someone with their name. Give them a smile. Reach out to them and ask how things are going.
You never know, making someone’s day could end up leading to a great friendship.