We want to encourage people to reach out and help someone struggling. We posed this question on the Internet, “What was the nicest thing someone ever said or did for you?” We hope that the readers of this book see that sometimes it is the little things that brighten a person’s day… a kind word or deed, or just a simple breath of encouragement. We feel better ourselves when we do something nice for another.
Perhaps, some of these heartwarming ideas will inspire you to help someone. Whether you are the one suffering with emotional pain, or the person caring for someone who has an illness, a little kindness can go a long way.
THE NICEST THING SAID TO ME
When a lady in church said, “God has something mighty planned for you.” She gave me a laminated page of the 23rd Psalm. She didn’t know me and maybe she said this to many people. It gave me a reason to hang on to hope. Even now, eight years later, I still reflect on those words for strength. It was at a time of great turmoil in my life and I desperately needed powerful words of encouragement.
“You can walk the road of life triumphantly, gloriously, as the radiant, victorious child of God, which you are.”
I work in a business where, shall we say, a person’s word is sometimes not entirely reliable. A colleague from another city said to me, “You know, Frank, if you’d tell me it’s Christmas, I’d go hang up my stocking.” Because I hold ethics and truthfulness as standards to aspire to, I took that as a real compliment.
“You changed my life! I will remember you until the day I die…” As a teacher, I sometimes lose heart due to loss of finances, as it is not the most lucrative profession. But when I see and hear what effect my work has on people, I am renewed with inspiration to keep on keepin’ on all over again.
“You are a God wink. Thank you for being my friend.”
“You’re loved.” The first time I heard it was from an elderly white woman (I’m African American) on a public bus. She was impressed by my kindness to her and the courtesies I extended (I gave her my seat). She said that she could look at me and tell somebody loved me. She said, “Yes, you’re loved.” And the second time was during dinner with a friend going through a tough time who said the exact same thing in the same context referencing the way I treated people and accepted them, flaws and all. The second time helped me recall the first time I heard it and gave me a point of observation with other people. I use those words to encourage people all of the time.
When I was 26, a friend of mine told me, “I would be happy if my daughter turned out to be like you one day.” I was going through a difficult time in my life and it was very touching to hear. I can’t imagine getting a higher compliment. He was in his 50’s and his daughter was about 18 or 19.
I was tutoring an especially difficult set of twins. Their parents knew how difficult they were. Their negative self-image and lack of motivation were evident at home and at school. The parents decreased the hours they spent in their family businesses, and asked the kids about homework every night. I did all I could to motivate them. At the end of the year, the mother called to say that though their grades only went up slightly, “What you did for my children, as people, was worth every penny.” I see tutoring as the vehicle through which I get to teach students about life. This was the highest compliment I’d ever received.
The nicest thing anyone ever said to me was: “Jillian, you make the room light up.” Even now, my heart is singing from thinking about that person and what they said.
My father was in the final stages of brain cancer. We were not as close as we should be, and our lives were miles apart. Following the brain surgery, I would go visit him as often as possible. His speech and memory had been affected, and what he said did not often make sense. One day after lunch with him, as we were saying our good-byes, we hugged. While hugging, I apologized for not being a better son. Through the pain and his inability to communicate clearly, he said, “Best son.” I will never forget that.
I was talking to my husband’s friend. She said that he speaks of me frequently, and he shares information about what is going on in our lives. What she said that took me completely by surprise was, “You are an inspiration.” This shocked and pleased me because I am a full-time working mother of three kids age 11, 7.5 and 6. Being an inspiration is not something I ever considered being capable of. When she said that we inspire her, it made me realize that the things I take for granted (a loving husband, three happy and healthy children, a 16 year marriage, etc.) have real value. And that somehow we had a positive impact on people around us.
My spiritual father would often tell me: “If God has picked you for promotion, he has first picked you for trial.” Those words have brought comfort to me during the rough spots in my life. During a difficult time of my life, a wise pastor told me, “God is taking you to a place that you cannot see.”
I had a moment one morning, where the crossing guard at my daughter’s kindergarten said to me, “You are always smiling and happy.” I responded “What’s the alternative?” I never realized it was something others noticed. I enjoyed hearing it from a man that most people barely even recognized, but he and I would say a friendly “good morning” each day. It really made my day. I completely agree, little things said go a long way. I try, from my end, to say positive things to complete strangers, never knowing what impact it will have on them.