A few weekends ago, I arrived in Park City for a retreat. After meeting up with a few other people in the group, we made our way to the house we were staying at for the weekend.
As we walked in the door, a small basket greeted us. It had a few snacks, some nuts, some dried fruit, and some chocolate. A note from the program leaders welcomed us to the city and to the weekend’s events.
The basket may not seem significant. It didn’t cost all that much. It contained things we could easily buy at the local grocery store. It was only a tiny part of the overall experience of the retreat.
But it mattered to me. It made me feel welcome. It made me feel appreciated. It made me feel cared for.
I was only at the store to pick up a single item. I walked in, found what I was looking for, and went to the cashier to pay.
But instead of just taking my money and handing back the receipt, the man behind the counter gave a big smile and cracked a joke. I laughed. We talked for a few moments before I continued my walk home.
The joke and conversation weren’t part of the transaction. He could have just taken my money and that would have been that.
But he talked to me anyways. He made me smile.
Or there was a recent flight home. Instead of just bringing the drink cart through the plane once and calling it good – which is what many flight attendants do – the crew came through multiple times. They asked if we wanted water. They asked if we wanted a hot drink. They asked if we wanted juice. They cared for us.
Or there was when my friend stopped by to visit. That she had come to our house was more than enough to make me happy, but she also brought along a little gift – a homemade bottle of scented spray. It made the visit all the more wonderful.
Or there was the time the bus reached the stop before I did. The driver could have just continued on her route and let me catch the next bus, but she held the bus for a moment so I could run and get on board. She saved me a long wait in the cold.
send me a smile
and in doing so you will
give me the whole world
Such gestures are small. They don’t take much effort. They’re inexpensive.
But in them is a message of respect, value, and importance. They say to the other person, “I see you. You matter.”
And that is significant.
When were you on the receiving end of a little touch? How did you feel afterwards?