“Not every day offers us the chance to save a life, but every day offers the opportunity to affect one.“
These are the words of the NYC volunteer firefighter and motivational speaker Mark Bezos. This was such a simple message, but made such a major point about how each of us can make a difference by performing a simple act of kindness.
In his TED talk, Mark Bezos tells a story from one of his first fire assignments. It was in the middle of the night and under pouring rain. A colleague, who arrived just before him, was asked to save the homeowner’s dog. He was stunned with jealousy, as he wanted to be the hero. So when his turn came, captain of the volunteer said that Bezos had to get inside the house, pass the fire and get the home-owner a pair of shoes to wear. This was not quite the act of heroism he was hoping for.
When he got out from the house, he found his friend who saved the dog surrounded with many admirers.
Shortly after the fire, however, the woman wrote a thank you note to the fire department and singled out the shoes in particular. While Bezos said he has been a witness to acts of generosity on both global and individual scales, he’s learned one thing: “All acts of kindness or grace matter to someone.”
Start with something small.
In his short speech, he advises all of us to just start with what we can provide now. It does not have to be something big or life changing. By the simple act of giving a stranger a free smile, a compliment, or holding the door open, you can already make a huge difference. Eventually, isn’t it the small things that often matter the most?
When was the last time you did something kind for a stranger? It probably felt good to make someone else smile, right? A simple act of kindness can turn a bad day into a good day. Not just for the receiver, but also the giver. Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that completing being generous leads to a significant increase in positive moods. Happiness spreads through each and every one of us. By taking the time to help others, we not only give them a better day, but their satisfaction and gratitude can make ours better too. We connect with people through kindness.
Mark Bezo’s story shows that the smallest things can make a big difference in a person’s life. His simple and yet brilliant insight: “If you have something to give, give it now” helps me to appreciate what I have and sharing it with others. And by the way: If you are not lighting any candles, don’t complain that it is dark.
The little things matter.
The little things matter, too – such an important message that we too often seem to forget. I think one of the main reasons we do not affect other people is that we are used to delay it. In other words, we don’t feel any duty about this. We don’t think we HAVE TO do it. But just waiting for someday that gives us a wonderful chance is not an answer. Whatever you want or whatever you dream, “Do IT RIGHT NOW” because every moment is important and maybe today is somebody’s “bad day” that you can actually turn into a good one. The best thing about being kind (apart from being free of any charge) is that if you care about someone, they will feel it, and if they feel it, they will pass it on. It’s these little moments that spark a chain reaction of compassion in people. It’s the small acts that eventually make a big difference.
Thank you for reading and spreading the message.