Ripples #1032: Making Someone’s Day!
Mar 4, 2019
Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples: 1999-2019!
Be the best part of someone’s day.
-Amy Harless Tucker, shared by Jenny in Indianapolis, IN
Strong social support is one of the keys to happiness and good health. Making an effort to improve relationships with people already in your life is one way to increase your social support.
-Jeanne Graner Krochta, shared by Donna in Owings, MD
When I first saw Jenny’s submission, I wondered if it might seem too simplistic or too obvious to be the Pebble in one of our weekly splashes of inspiration. Still, every time I glanced at I found myself curious about where she found it and why it was important to her. So guess what I did…I asked!
It turns out that “Be the best part of someone’s day,” was the motto her friend Amy adopted during a journey with cancer. It seems that because Amy was a really kind person, and perhaps as a strategy to distract her from the more unpleasant aspects of her illness, Amy remained committed to trying to make other people’s day even when she wasn’t feeling 100%. I learned from Jenny that even though Amy passed away last year, friends and family have kept her motto alive.
Jenny also shared with me that Amy’s motto inspired her to spread patience, compassion, and kindness even to people who she might initially be frustrated with. “I believe that most people don’t set out to try to ruin someone’s day,” Jenny wrote. “Maybe the person who took that parking spot I was waiting for recently got some bad news and isn’t thinking clearly. The person who seemed rude was possibly just harassed by someone or perhaps just lost a beloved friend or family member. While these scenarios aren’t fun to deal with, I get to choose how to react to them. And if we choose to react by showing compassion, then maybe we can end up being the best part of someone’s day.”
While I think striving to make another person’s day is a worthy goal with lots of benefits to everyone involved, I also would caution against reading the quote as an encouragement to ignore your own needs and focus exclusively on others. Instead, I embrace it as a fun challenge to look around and see whose day I could improve with even a small gesture of patience, kindness, or encouragement. It can temporarily distract us from our own challenges AND it actually feels pretty darn good, too!
The next time you find yourself having a tough day, I dare you to experiment with setting aside your frustrations and focusing on making someone else’s day better just to see if it might end up making your day better, too.
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