My husband and I were eating lunch in a restaurant with very close tables. The woman next to us was telling her husband about a dilemma she was having, he didn’t seem to be listening. She was trying to write the perfect text to shore things up with a friend, he still wasn’t listening. She kept reading him different versions of her text, no response. I think he had heard this for so long that he just focused on his sandwich. The woman once again read aloud a version of the text she wanted to send, and it was good. I then said, “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but hear you and that last text is the best one yet. I can totally hear your heart in it.” She expression changed from sorrow to joy, smiled really big and said, “Thank you for that. I agree. I’ll send it and be done with it.” She hit send, put down her phone, her husband looked and me and smiled, and they began to converse about something else.
Some people might have found what I did rude. Others might think it was intrusive. All I could hear was a woman who had the answer and just needed to be validated. So I agreed with her. “We are here to add what we can…” What a great reminder that each day we have opportunities to bring what we can to make life better for ourselves and others. It may not be comfortable, easy or even socially correct, yet sometimes a simple word of support or kindness is all people need to be able to move forward.
The best we can do is give what we can with what we have at our disposal. That may be an empty bed, a warm meal, a smile, a hug, a handshake or a few words of validation. Adding what we can takes very little effort when we do it with our simple gifts. Kindness and giving does not have to be a huge production. Simplicity is best when it is sincere and heart felt.