“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Friday, 30 September 2011

How little it takes to make a difference

It is amazing how little it takes to make a difference to the feel and shape of someone's day. Today I went to visit a friend in hospital, and, as is customary (or so I thought) I took her a bunch of flowers. Only to learn that flowers on wards are now strictly forbidden because of "water contamination". So I had to take them away again. But at least my friend realised that I had been thinking of her.

My original thought had been to stick them back on the back seat of my car, and take them back home with me. But then, at the main entrance to the hospital, I walked past two women (I guess mother and grown-up daughter) who were obviously waiting for a taxi or something. On impulse, I presented the older lady with the flowers. And her whole face lit up: "It's my birthday on Monday!" she said. So I wished her a happy birthday and went on my way.

I love the words of Frederick Buechner about how we act towards strangers can have a real knock-on effect. he writes: "As we move around this world and as we act with kindness, perhaps, or with indifference or with hostility towards the people we meet, we are setting the great spider web atremble. The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops, or in what far place my touch will be felt."

It is lovely to think that perhaps my gift of flowers to that woman might have that sort of impact on her day, and hence on those around her. It also made my day - her happiness made me feel good! It is amazing how little it takes to make a difference - to my life, and to that of others. May I live to make it so.

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful post of wonderful observations. We often as individuals feel almost insignificant in the impact we can make, and yet posts like this remind us that even the smallest of actions can have noticeable and far reaching effects.