Have you ever answered a grocery clerks question of ‘How’s your day going?” with a ‘Good’ and followed by a “How’s your day going?” Have you ever watched their face when you’ve asked that? They look up at you, right at you. Most have a surprised expression or one of shock. They don’t expect a response. They don’t expect anyone to care how they might be doing.
Questions. Comments. Greetings. They all fall into the same category: the gift of encouragement. I learned how important this was when my husband and I went down to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina’s devastating flood. Hellos weren’t nearly enough. People wanted someone to sit and talk with them, pray with them, listen to them, show compassion to them, listen as they answered the question, “How are you doing today/”
A few months ago, I posted an article on my Parkinson’s website about a drug that is life threatening to people with PD. It received a couple of comments, the biggest one being from a man who had just lost his father in-law who had PD and they mistakenly gave him this drug. The son in-law was writing to say thank you for the information and only wished he might have found it sooner.
That comment came at a critical time for me, as I was beginning to question whether what I write really does make a difference. It did for him.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this –
We are all basically the same – we hurt, we feel pain, we feel sad, we get down and we sometimes want our exit from this world to come sooner than later. But then – we go to the supermarket and someone says hi or smiles. Or maybe we go home and water our flowerbeds and the neighbor walks over and asks us how our day is going and sticks around to find out. Perhaps we turn on our computers to check out websites and someone has left an encouraging comment on a post we wrote. And most likely, after being greeted, asked how we’re doing, or reading an encouraging comment after a blog post, we begin to feel better. All because someone took time to go a little further to show they really did care.
If just a small gesture can break up the dark clouds in someone’s day, I don’t want to hold back. I want to be saying my hellos, listening to the responses to my ‘how ‘ya doin’’ questions, and leaving a comment when I’ve been encouraged or inspired. It’s not hard to do – you just have to care a little bit.