From Arlo Guthree via Donna’s blog here
"If the world was perfect... if everybody had money, nobody was homeless, nobody got sick, everything was wonderful, everybody was smart and happy all the time... you'd have to go a long way out of your way to make a difference in this world. You'd have to do a lot to improve the way it was. But in a world that sucks like this one, you don't have to do very much at all! There was never a time in the history of the world where you could do so little and get so much done! You could do more with a smile, just hold somebody, say hello to somebody, or just feel good all by yourself when you don't FEEL like feeling good!"
Sometimes, not always, but sometimes, I try to follow the path of making a difference in someone’s life in a small way. Just say a few kind words, give an unexpected compliment, or a small gift.
At work, I have always viewed the small gifts exchanged within our very small group as a waste of time and money. Maybe it is the thought that counts, but in this instance, often nothing else does. Most all in our group would, if they wanted or needed any item that cost less than $20, have already made that purchase. Certainly, they all have plenty of resources to purchase any food item they want, and much more than they need. Because the excess and waste of ‘Christmas giving’ has long upset me, I have declined to participate in our office gift exchange for a decade or more. For a time, I bought small $1 gifts for each individual in our group, but this left me feeling disingenuous.
A few years past, I started taking my work Christmas budget money and giving the entire dollar amount to one individual of my choice. The last two years, I have chosen young mothers with children as the recipient. This year, I am choosing from a different category. A work acquaintance, not a friend as I do not have actual work friends, borrowed $10 from me a couple of months ago, saying they would repay me in a couple of weeks. After about a month had gone by, she came to me visibly embarrassed, about not repaying this money and promising the money in a week or two. I tried to reassure her there was no need to worry about repayment.
This woman is approaching retirement age. She always looks bedraggled, haggard, and perpetually worried. This Christmas, she will receive a card with my office gift money enclosed. And in return, I get to feel good about my one small difference in our world.
Make a difference where you are.