A little bit ago I wrote about the #elf4health challenge that I started a few weeks back. I mentioned that as part of the challenge we would be given tasks to complete on a daily basis. One of the tasks was to not wear make-up. Since I don’t wear make-up I could have taken the day off and rubbed it in the face of the female challenge members (read all other members), but I decided to do something different. I wanted to challenge myself so I instituted a freaky kindness Friday where I went about my day and did things for people that didn’t normally happen. Then today the actually challenge for #elf4health was to buy coffee for the person in line behind me. I wanted to talk about how these two days have changed the way I look at living and at those living around me.
This post is not to build me up, because trust me there are far greater people in the world who I could build up instead. The point is that to make someone’s day by doing the most simple thing, without expecting anything in return, should be something people do on a regular basis.
If you look around you right now or the next time you are in public you will see some happy people, you will see some sad people and you will see some people who appear one way, but are actually another. There is a need out there for people to find a bit of happiness and while a free cup of coffee may not give them a new outlook on life, you never know, it just might.
Last Friday was the no make-up day and I didn’t start the day knowing what I was going to do, but by the time Bible study was over in the wee hours of the morning I knew what my goal was. I was going to try to go out of my comfort zone and be all kinds of nice to strangers, whether they appreciated it or not!
I didn’t do a ton of things because honestly I couldn’t think of a bunch of things that did not involve money, but I did find a few to do with and without money. At Bible study (at a coffee shop) I cleared the breakfast dishes for the other guys. Before I left the next coffee shop I went to (my normal place where I do work – Plate 21) I asked the barista to put the next person’s coffee on the card I have on file there. Later that day I had amazing customer service at Best Buy so I made sure the manager knew that their store did a great job and especially the girl who helped me with my purchase. I even filled out the survey they tell you to fill out when you get home that no one hardly ever does for positive reasons. Then I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond where a young girl was clearing the dark and cold parking lot of carts. I helped her gather them up so she could get back into the warmth of the store. Then today it took me until just before writing this blog to finally buy someone some coffee, but I did it.
Again, none of this is to build me up, but all of it is because if I am not making this place a better place to live, as a human and as a Christian, then what the heck am I doing?
What did I learn from these experiences? Well, some people are very gracious and let you know how appreciative they are and others….well….they aren’t. In the end though (and this is hard to write for me because I am still learning this and the person I just bought coffee for seemed used to getting things free, yes she was cute, but she just happened to be the one behind me) it doesn’t matter how they react. I am not doing it for them. I am not doing it for me. I am doing it for my Father in Heaven who says we should love everyone.
I am confident that someone’s day was made better through my actions and even though I will probably never know just what it did for people, it doesn’t matter. I enjoyed doing it and want to keep doing it.
Help me out. What ways could you and I make other people’s days better? How can we ignore the people who don’t show their gratitude?