Tiny Blessings for Others

Family Reunion

When I was about 10 years old, my grandma came to visit from Wisconsin. She and I went shopping at the now defunct Winns Department Store. As we were walking out of the store, I stepped over a stuffed animal on the floor. Not noticing, grandma stopped at the toy and called me back to it. Confused and ready for a session of Excitebike, I shuffled back. “Yeah, grandma?” She looked at me and said “Please pick up this toy and put it on the shelf.” I was confused. “Why? I didn’t put it there.” She changed me when she said “Hernan, when you pick something up or you do something nice for someone else, even when they don’t know you did it, you’re blessing them – even when they don’t know it.” Annoyed, I put the toy away. My Nintendo was calling…or paging…or whatever happened back then.

Fast forward a few decades when I’m waiting in line to pick up my SXSW badge with @lydialeavitt. I notice a pen on the ground. Without realizing, I pick it up, walk it over to the counter silently and come back in line. Lydia asks “What was that, Nan?” I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. “The pen…why did you put it on the counter?” I responded with the story you read above and she nodded. Each time you do this, like anything else, it becomes a part of who you are. So, look for little opportunities to to give tiny blessings to others. Even if they don’t know, you’ve done something special for friends and strangers. You also help me honor my 95 year old grandma Lydia.

Do you have a fun story of how you’ve done this in your life? Share with us in the comments.

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