Small Things Matter.

What we consider little things can matter a great deal to others. The impact of this truth was driven home today by a conversation that I had with a friend / colleague from the eighties of the last century.

This friend has been tagging me and liking some of posts on facebook for some time but today for the first time ever, he left a comment on my blog post “Commitment”. He concluded with the sentence “I am lucky you know me.” I had gratefully responded with “You flatter me. Thank you. I am fortunate to have you in my life too.”

After some time, I decided that such an impersonal response was not enough and called him up on the telephone. I had last spoken to him about two years ago to help me with something in Bengaluru and had not called him after that problem was solved.

He was delighted to hear from me and that made me realise that I should have been calling him more often. As I am wont to do, I teased him about that sentence and he went all emotional about how his regard for me went back to 1985 when he had come to Bombay where I was posted then. He was visiting from our Head Office.  He did not know anyone in our office but as people from our other offices did, used our Bombay office as a base while doing whatever work they had in Bombay.  Apparently, during lunch time  I had seen  him sitting all alone and invited him to join the rest of us who used to eat together. He added another instance at another office,  when I had organised transport to drop him off at a railway station.

I don’t even remember these instances. These are the kind of things that I will do without ever thinking about them. I continue do do such things even with total strangers. We stopped being colleagues 28 years ago and these events were 32 years ago but, he still remembers!

For him these two instances have had such major impacts that he continues to remember and cherish them and associate me with them after all these years.

Yes, small things matter. To us as well as to others when we do what we consider small things but which may be big things.

8 thoughts on “Small Things Matter.”

  1. very heartwarming rummy… in so many ways. for you both.
    it’s true. what is small or even forgettable may be what makes a huge difference in someone else’s life.
    and at the same time some grand gesture can often just fall flat!
    and that’s interesting too. as if we’re being shown that GRAND is not the answer. perhaps small and simple kindnesses are the best.
    it’s why every mother treasures the gift from a sweaty little hand giving her limp wild flowers or weeds picked just for her!
    tammy j recently posted..moving on old bean

    1. The comments and the phone call has resulted in both of us reestablishing contact after so many years and many messages have since been exchanged via WhatsApp too. Thanks to modern technology, such connections also become possible.

  2. This has happened to me, as well; it’s so humbling to realize you’ve had an impact on someone’s life (such a relief to know it’s a positive one, sometimes!) just by being yourself. It often leads me to think, “What if I’d really gone out of my way to be helpful, or kind?” I love knowing that I made a difference. Sometimes, we never get to hear about it, but when we do, it’s hard not to wonder about the other times – good or bad – where we don’t. I had one of these just before the holidays; I won’t mention it here, because its too specific and personal, but not only was it good, it inspired the other person to help – to pay it forward – in hugely significant ways. It was just wonderful that they reached out to tell me about it. We’re so lucky in that, you and I.
    Holly Jahangiri recently posted..Those Other Places

    1. You are right. Paying it forward is another aspect of such action that hadn’t occurred to me. Knowing my friend however, I am sure that he would have done many such things for others in his life as well. When I next meet him personally, I shall discuss this and write again.

      Yes, we are lucky indeed.

  3. when I was considering making many “tokens of thanks” I start writing a list, I thought (well maybe I didn’t) but as I thought of many small things about certain people, sometimes only a kind word…my names made making the “tokens” impossible … so many people.

    fortunately I’m not beholden to that art project, at the exact time it was supposed to unfold, but I may still do something just as exciting for those helpers through a few decades…just differently.

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