In the late summer, I was walking a few blocks to meet my friends at the Boat Basin. A "Not in Service" bus stopped and asked me how far I had to go. He offered to take me over there. "But you're out of service," I said. "Don't worry about it," he replied, "I don't mind." He dropped me off as close to the Boat Basin as possible and didn't even ask me to swipe my Metrocard.
Today I walked outside, very early in the morning and more than a little grumpy. An older woman was struggling to scrape off the thick ice that coated her car. A stranger pulled up to the curb and offered to scrape the car for her. The woman was overwhelmed with the offer of help. I smiled and felt a little more hopeful about the world.
I was saying good-bye and happy holidays to some of my co-workers today. And I was quite speechless to have one of them say to me, "You, Christa, were the bright spot of 2008 for me. In a year that is so challenging on every front, I am so thankful for you." I didn't even know how to respond. I never would have expected to have made any kind of impact close to that.
It's these small acts of kindness and concern that make all the difference in our existence, in our experience of life. While grand gestures are certainly well-received, I always find that it's the small and heartfelt moments that I retain and cherish most. My new year's resolution is very simple - it is to celebrate and savor these small gifts, understand how little effort it really takes to make someone else's day, and to recognize that I can create those moments for others on a continuous basis. In short, I'd like to feel more hopeful and generate more hope for others.