Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Project

A week ago a card came to our house from my husband's friend in California. After we married, he and his wife became my friends too. The card was opened in error by my husband who thought it was for him when he saw the sender. He sheepishly turned it over to me after reading the card. I didn't mind. His mistake was easily understandable. I would expect any card coming from one of my friends was for me. Instead, the card was addressed to me, and detailed a project our friend was taking on for the new year. He had read of someone who had taken on the task of writing one thank you a day to someone who had impacted his life.

It was a way for this person to concentrate on the positive rather than any negative that may have been present in his life. The inventor of this project went on to say, he had recently lost his job and was mired down by all the by-products that entailed. When he began concentrating on the positive things in his life, he found himself in a different mind frame, and once there, positive changes came his way.

Thankfully, our friend wasn't in the same category as the man that started this movement. He was merely intrigued by the idea of sending thank yous to people in his orbit.

I can only attest to how his card affected me. The things he thanked me for were not earth shattering things. I had done them without much thought, but it was nice to know that he appreciated our friendship, the hospitality I had extended to his family when they came to visit, the support I had given to his kids throughout their lives and the happiness I had made possible for his "homeboy" my husband. Those simple words, sincerely given, made me feel ten feet tall. Even better yet, was the fact that I was 5/365. There has to be something special in being one of the top ten.

I cried after I read his kind card. He made my day, my week and maybe my month. This spurred me to call him--something we hadn't done for some time. It turned out it was his birthday. He sounded awful; he was under the weather with a bad cold, but he said we'd made his day by remembering his birthday.

We didn't tell him we hadn't remembered the date until he mentioned it. I think we will be forgiven. It is just proof to me that paying a kindness forward results in good things for everyone.


Callie James said...

Wonderful story, Diane. Thanks for sharing!

Cari Hislop said...

What a lovely post! Gratitude is a powerful emotion. I find that if I count my blessings and focus on the positive I become less selfish and more aware of when other people are being kind to me.

The other week I had someone thank me for something I'd unwittingly done for them. It made me feel like I was wrapped in cotton candy!

Anne Gallagher said...

Lovely lovely post. Small kindnesses can sometimes impact you in bigger ways than you ever expected.

JoAnn said...

Wow. This is incredibly wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing!

Louisa Cornell said...

What a lovely, lovely idea !! Thanks, Diane, for sharing this story with us.

Carla Swafford said...

It makes me think about the commercial of people seeing others doing good and helping others afterwards.

That was so nice.

Heather said...

That is a fantastic post. I think it takes a tremendous amount of strength to be focus your energy on seeking out the positive. It is so easy to lapse into being negative (you know . . . everyone is a critic). I would love to be able to find that same strength in my life. It is so easy to overlook our blessings and focus on the negative. I know it isn't January 1, but . . . New Year's Resolution . . . Find the positive.

Gwen Hernandez said...

What a neat idea, Diane. Thanks for sharing your story.