“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”

-Steve Maraboli

The world is moving at such a breakneck speed that sometimes we forget the value of some simple things in life.

One of them is the act of common courtesy.

Every so often, we go through things such turbulent periods in our lives that seeing even a friendly smile can cheer us up simply because we haven’t seen it in a while.

Every time you go shopping or to see a movie, take just a second to return the courtesy a cashier is giving you.

Smile and ask them how they’re doing like they ask you or other customers.

It may not seem like much at the time. But to them it may mean the world after an array of unhappy customers or a long shift of work.

This is certainly not an opinion based on extensive research. It’s simply my personal observation that part of the reason why the expediency of simple gestures is not valued as it once was because life itself has become so chaotic.

With smart devices, social media and ever-increasing way of contact, we’re being pulled in a million different directions at any given moment. Common courtesy is sometimes more associated with “likes” and “shares” or “retweets” than something more tangible.

Nevertheless, whatever perceptions might suggest, there have been enough proven examples of simple gestures turning a situation 180 degrees around. It’s just a matter of recognizing the value of those examples and incorporating them.

For instance, there have been several cases of attempted suicide in which the person who was about to kill himself or herself said one phone call or conversation stopped them.

Some people have personally recounted to me how they were having a bad day until a stranger just casually asked them how they’re doing.

One particular account stands out to me. A friend of mine once told me that she was having a terrible day and it showed on her face. She happened to be downtown, waiting to catch a train. After waiting for 15 minutes, as she got ready to board, a gentleman appeared seemingly out of nowhere and handed her a bag of donuts and walked away. In addition to the donuts, she found a note inside that said “You looked like you needed these. I hope the sweetness of these donuts rubs off on your day as well.”

It was at that point that her tears of agony changed to tears of joy. She told that for the rest of the day, whenever something negative occurred, she thought about the donuts and didn’t feel as bad anymore.

Sometimes, a simple gesture can travel for miles on ahead even without us knowing it. All we have to is accept that it can do so even in this day and age.

How do you feel about the importance of simple gestures? Do you agree or disagree with their value? Why or why not? Has a simple gesture by someone ever made you feel better? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.

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Hi, I'm Neel! I'm a writer (fiction and poetry), a journalist and currently working in the advertising business. I'm also a mental health advocate, having been diagnosed with clinical depression a few years ago.
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