So, today’s the day. You’ve committed yourself to the pursuit of happiness. You’re gonna turn your life around and do your best to just be happy and make it a goal. You leave your house, you hit the local WaWa, and as you go to get a cup of that rich, 100% Columbian coffee, someone jumps in front of you. They take the last bit of Columbian coffee and leave without giving you a second thought. You ask for more and quickly learn you’ll have to wait five minutes to brew another pot. Ugh.
You wait for the coffee to brew and grab a little something to munch on. You grab the last apple turnover, and it’s warm. Score!!! You’re feeling pretty good until you go up to check out and the line is eight people deep. But as luck would have it, another cashier comes in and opens another line. You begin to walk around, you’ll be first in line, when all of a sudden a person darts out of an aisle and jumps in front of you. Really???
As you finally walk out of the WaWa, you see someone walking up as you’re walking out. You ask yourself, “Do I hold the door for them?” And you think, no one did me any favors today, why should I? And will it even matter? Perhaps this guy has the answer…
Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf’s edge and and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached, he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.
The man was struck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached, the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.
As he came up to the person, he said: “You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can’t possibly make a difference.” The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said: “It sure made a difference to that one!”
You may be asking yourself why you should try to be nice to people or even try to be happy and selfless in a world that is full of people looking out for number one. Why should you hold the door for someone when the two people in the WaWa didn’t help you? Now imagine they did let you go first, in both scenarios. Would you even have to question yourself about holding the door open for someone? You would hold the door without a second thought. And that lends to the point that one good act can make a difference in a person’s life.
You never know the impact of your one good act on another. Did you just brighten their day? Did you just save their life? Did you just start a chain of people passing one good act down the line to the other? That’s the kind of act that can make a difference and it doesn’t need to be based on whether someone started with a good act towards you or a bad one. You can start a string of good acts that can touch many lives that day without you even knowing.
So, does it matter if you hold the door for the person walking into the WaWa? You bet it does!!! It matters to that person.