Some months ago, I was given a little cellophane bag of some homemade chocolate rolled into the size and shape of marbles, and coated with powdered cocoa. Trying to describe how good the taste was would take more skill in description than I want to do. I will just say they were great.
I thanked the person that made them, because making anything takes time and money. I wanted them to know I appreciate how special I felt that they took the time and effort to make those little chocolate balls, package them up and share them with me.
The story could end here, but time has passed. My freezer has packages of meats I purchased intending to use right away. I plan on making a real meal, but time flies, and life moves on, and a hot dog works when your busy. Of course I would not recommend eating as many hot dogs as I do for dinner over the course of time.
Fortunately I find myself with more free time the week, so I want to start using up the meats I have stored in the freezer. Some people do not make the connection, but I do.
Each package of meat in my freezer represents one animal that was killed so I could have meat for dinner. I am respectful enough of this to make use of those meats, so the animals death serves a higher purpose than being displayed in a grocery store and being thrown out on trash day, rotting.
I looked at the pile of frozen meat bricks in my freezer. I had less of a variety than I hoped. I looked at chicken legs, chicken thighs, pieces of chicken, boneless chicken, and more chicken. There were also a few small amounts of ground beef I had placed in baggies planning to make a quick burrito filler via microwave.
So much for shopping creativity. As I pulled out the last brick of frozen chicken, my fingers felt and my ears heard a small cellophane bag I did not remember putting into the freezer. It was hiding in an ice tray covered by a couple of frozen fruit bars.
As I took it out, I thought it was something gone bad. It was a dark brown with some powder on parts of it. I was trying to remember what I had placed in the freezer that was going bad to keep frozen until trash collection day when I would put it in the trash can to be picked up.
Then it dawned me. It was a second package of those precious little chocolate treats, which were hand made. Lucky me, I was given a second package after I raved on about how good those little chocolate treats were.
I had placed them in the freezer because I knew if I kept them in the refrigerator, they would be gone in a single day. They were that good. In that moment, I once again grateful, that someone took the time to collect all the ingredients, make those little chocolate wonders, package them, and share them with me. When I next see the person that made them, I will share this story with them.
Being grateful is not difficult. Being grateful is a simple three part step:
1. Someone does something for you they did not have to do.
2. You take a moment to internalize what is being done for you.
3. You smile and give thanks (feedback) to the person.
Taking time to add gratefulness to your day only takes a few seconds out of your day. Often it can be combined with something you are already doing. You are going out a door, take a moment to hold the door for someone coming in. It is as simple as that.
If you want to take a display of gratefulness to the next level try this. Smile at a stranger and say hello. Smile and say hello to someone who most people normally would not smile and address.
Sure it is easy to smile at a beautiful woman, or a great hunk of man. It also feels good both ways when that smile and salutation are given to someone who you normally would not give a second thought too. Sometimes they are taken by surprise and forget to smile and return your hello, but that is okay. It was a surprise to them.
Paying it forward in a faceless line has its place. Nothing feels better than the gratefulness you receive from someone you acknowledge, smile at and speak to. You have touched someones life directly. You won’t be a faceless someone who did you a favor. You will be that wonderful person who took a few seconds from their day to smile and say hello.
Which would you really rather receive, a free coffee in the drive through, or the wonderful feeling of smiling and speaking to someone while sharing a brief moment together? I will add, a few pieces of Chocolate definitely help the feelings flowing in both directions.