Little Things Make A Big Difference

By April 11, 2008 No Comments

When you Consider the Ripple Effect – Every action you take has the potential to affect billions of people

I stopped off on the way home from work today for a workout in Curves in Arklow. As I was searching for money for parking meter I noticed a car loitering behind me and assumed they were hoping that I was about to pull out. I jumped out of my car expecting to tell the driver that I wasn’t leaving only to get a nice surprize. Turns out the driver wasn’t waiting to take my spot but was patiently waiting to offer me his parking ticket which still had about 45 mins left on it! Just enough time for a quick workout in Curves. How nice is that!

It reminded me of an incident 2 weeks ago in Tesco. I was in line at the check out and there were 3 American folk just ahead of me paying there bill. The lady at the checkout asked if they had a “club card” and being visitors of course they didn’t so they offered me their points. How sweet is that?

At the time it struck me that I’d often had the urge to do this when I was shopping somewhere that I dont have a loyalty card for but then I think to myself “sure its not like my shopping is that much money – no point offering the points to someone else” but these two incidents have reminded me that it’s not about how much you are saving someone else or how much you are giving them – it’s the gesture that counts!

When that man gave me his ticket today it warmed my heart. It warmed my heart that he thought of someone else who he didn’t even know… it warmed my heart that he didnt want to see good money (even if it was only 50 cent) wasted, it warmed my heart that when I beamed a smile of suprised gratitude at him, that both him and his passenger beamed a smile back, it warmed my heart that he was willing to spend an extra 3 – 4 minutes waiting in that car park for me to get out of my car… and most importantly it warms my heart that his action along with the actions of my American friends in Tesco, have caused me to reflect on my own actions and will no doubt prompt me to be a little more thoughtful and giving to the stranger in the street.

It reminds me of that famous saying “one small step for man, one giant step for man kind”. Translate that as “one small step for the man in the car park in Arklow, one giant step for the generosity of the human race”. Who knows where this could lead, their small actions of generosity prompts me to do small actions of generosity to a stranger which prompts my stranger to do small actions of generosity to a another stranger which prompts that stranger to …. it goes on and on.

It’s the ripple effect – every single action we take, good or bad, has the potential to affect billions of people. From our small viewing point we’ll never see the full results but rest assured very often the little things we do make a very big difference.

So a big thank you to the man in the car park in Arklow today and another big thank you to the 3 American folk in Tesco a few weeks ago. You have given me a bigger gift then you could ever imagine

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