These past couple of weeks for me have been, for a lack of a better word, challenging. Everything from work to my personal life was eating away at me physically and emotionally. I was dealing with problems and situations at work that were trivial in hindsight but created for a toxic environment. In my personal life, things were falling apart in areas where I had no control. Nothing directly affected me, but as a friend, I was the emotional support. Situations like these individually leave the average person drained. But when it’s one thing after another on top of another, affecting both your personal and professional life, it almost becomes a test of your will.
I remember going home after a more particularly challenging day. Arriving at my house after over an hour commute, just sitting in my car thinking about the day and feeling like my will had literally been broken. I no longer felt that desire to do what was right, to deal with my coworkers or to support my friends. I was broken. Emotionally and physically. The days went on after this and it was the same routine, nothing became extremely worse but nothing really got better. Then it was Friday.
On this particular Friday I had to move boxes of files from one location to another. As I got caught up in meetings, most of my coworkers rushed out to head home at the end of the day, leaving me without a hand to help move the boxes. Since the parking lot was a bit of a ways, I loaded up everything I could into a small dolly and carried the rest while pushing along the cart. In the elevator on the way down, a random stranger looked at me and said, “You look like you could need some help. I will open the doors for you.” This stranger then went out of her way to walk to the other end of the building to hold the door so I could make my way out. After walking across the street and struggling to make it to my car, I heard someone shouting behind me, “Miss, miss, let me help you with that!” I turned around and saw that it was the parking attendant I passed by every morning. We had never had any other interaction prior to this other than a wave hello in the mornings. However, he went out of his way, running from one side of the parking structure to the other as he saw me struggling to make it to my car. Without hesitation he took the boxes out of my hands and helped me load my things. “Have a good weekend,” he said. “Thank you,” I said, “you too.”
I then sat in my car, let out a breathe of relief and a tear rolled down my cheek. These two strangers had no idea how their small acts of kindness affected me. Trying to make it back to my car juggling all those boxes, thinking about how challenging the week had been, I felt so defeated. My soul literally felt heavy.
Then, these two individuals stepped into my life, just for a brief moment, but they helped to unload not just the physical weight of the boxes, but an emotional weight as well. When it should have been my coworkers’ duty to offer me help to move these boxes, these strangers helped out of the kindness of their hearts. At that moment, my soul felt a little lighter. It gave me the strength to move forward with the rest of my day without wanting to fall apart.
Never overlook the power of kindness. You have the power to make a difference in someone’s day. Even a smile or a wave hello to a stranger can be all that they need to lift their spirits, if only for a moment.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.