Someone, a person I'd never seen before ... likely would never see again ... had paused, held the door, and motioned for me to enter the store ahead of them.
I thanked them and walked on in.
Big deal. A few minutes later, when I was leaving the store, I had already forgotten about this small act of thoughtfulness, but I paused, held the door for the person behind me, then strode off to my car.
That's when I started thinking about these small acts of kindness that we bestow -- or withhold -- as we go about our daily routines.
How easily they become a part of our lives. Or how easily they are forgotten, neglected in our rush to get to the next red light ahead of everybody else.
They are such simple things, so easily given. They cost us nothing, yet have the potential of great dividends.
What fragile threads they are, holding together the fabric of this thing we call civilization.
They are the "renewable glue" that holds us together, these little gifts we bestow on others, whether at the door, in the checkout line, or out there in the jungle that we call traffic.
What does it cost us to let someone else go ahead?
As in the simplest childhood game, we'll "get our turn."
Meanwhile, we've done a good turn, no matter that it's almost unnoticeable, for someone else. They may then do a good turn for someone else.
It has the potential for going on and on, this "renewable glue." It might even work on a larger scale than just person-to-person.
End of sermon ... now the poem:
An act of kindness,
a nod, a smile,
the door held open --
gifts easily bestowed,
yet vital as droplets
of renewable glue
from falling apart.
(originally published in Capper's)
Today's word: renewable