“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.” ~~ Henry Clay

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How many of you out there are too busy? No, this is not a rhetorical question. Really stop and think about what you’ve got going on, and ask yourself if you’re SO busy that you can’t take a moment to show at least one person around you some courtesy. Simple things like telling someone they look nice, holding a door open, making eye contact, greeting someone.

Lately, I’ve been so consumed with everyone going on in my own life. But this past weekend, one of my students, who knows about the health issues I’ve been going through, took the time to let me know that her brother-in-law is going through the same thing as me and that there is a support group here in the area, which I had no idea about. She offered to put me in touch with the coordinator of the group, which she did, and for which I am extremely and forever grateful.

What she did for me probably only took her a few minutes. All she had to do was e-mail me the contact information and she was done. What she may not know is what that simple action did for ME. To know that she cared about what I am going through, that she was willing to make the effort to help me in any way she could, meant so much to me. I am so thankful to her for that action that took only a few moments of her time, because now I have local people I can talk with, meet with in person, and share my struggles without having to burden my family so much.

Many of us, myself included, may feel we don’t have the time to extend ourselves to others in any way, even if they are simple and quick. We simply feel so rushed to get our own “stuff” done that we don’t bother to take a moment and look around at what others may need.

I can honestly say that since this past weekend, I’ve been walking around with a much more positive outlook on things, and it made me realize that I need to do for others what my student did for me.

Think about it. Think about the last time you did something for someone else, even if it was something as simple as smiling at them or saying hello. Chances are, the person you did this for smiled, maybe even in a surprised way if they aren’t used to people taking the time to do these kinds of things. And I would be willing to bet that the positive reaction you got made YOU happy. Am I right? Didn’t you smile, at least just a little?

Of course, the person you did something for may not have even acknowledged that you did anything, and that’s OK. We shouldn’t expect that our actions will give us anything in return. Just knowing that your actions are helping to create the kind of world you want to live in should be enough.

So try to take some time, today, to look outside yourself. Look around for that person who may need some help, or some acknowledgement of some sort. Don’t expect anything in return, but instead, be satisfied in knowing you are doing what you were meant to do in the world.

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