Thursday, December 22, 2011

What Really Matters

Yesterday Stephanie over at Caffeinated Homestead Dream wrote a post entitled "Little Things Matter." It was very well-written and a great reminder of what is important especially at this busy, sometimes hectic, time of year.

Her post reminded me that when we spread kindness with a compliment or by what may seem like a small gesture, by sharing a word of encouragement, by giving a smile here or a hug there, we can affect someone else in a way we might not even realize.

Many years ago, I attended a family funeral and introduced myself to an elderly woman I had seen only very infrequently in my life. She said, "Yes, I remember you. You're Maggie's [my grandmother] granddaughter with the beautiful smile!"

I must admit her lovely compliment took me back a bit. No one had ever commented on my smile before. I had never had even an inkling that I had a "beautiful smile." On a good day when I'm all cleaned up, I might be called attractive but I'm not a person who's ever had the label "beautiful" thrown at her. Yet I didn't doubt the sincerity of what that dear lady said. That night at home I stood in front of the bathroom mirror . . . and smiled. Hunh. Maybe she saw something in my smile not visible to me. Maybe I did have a nice smile . . .

All these years later when I'm feeling down or upset or sad or tired, I think back to her kind words and decide that perhaps using my "beautiful smile" will make things better. And it usually does.

Needless to say, I have never forgotten that simply spoken compliment. You just never know how much your simple gesture will mean to the person on the receiving end of a small, heartfelt kindness. Little things do matter.

22 comments:

Jennifer Jo said...

Inspiring...and true.

Erin said...

What a great post, and so true! I have been affected by other people's kindness this way too over the years, and it never ceases to amaze me what other people notice that I never have, or what those seemingly little comments mean to me. We should all strive to do these little things more often for others, they do mean alot!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

You do have a beautiful smile - it shows all the kindness in your heart :)

And yes, little things matter a lot. More people should remember that as they rush through life...

judy said...

AND THATS WHAT YOUR COMMENTS DO FOR ME,I WILL BE A DIFFERENT PERSON FOREVER BECAUSE I MET YOU,SOMEONE SENT YOU TO ME AND I'M SO THANKFUL

Tom Stewart said...

I come to read your Blog on a regular part of my day and I have to tell you that I can get julious of the things you and your Family accomplish.
Trying to run a homestead and caring for animals, working on a house to make it a home is a lot of hard work and it never seems to get done!
But in the realm of real life, There are others who have it harder!
Life has it.s UP'S and DOWN'S, Savor the UP'S and and work on the DOWN'S.
Thanks for the link to the Video! Small things do matter!

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, JJ! Yes, so true.

Erin - Just shows to go ya that we don't see ourselves as others see us. Is that good . . . or not?? ;o]

Jen - Aw, gawsh, Jen. Thanks. Yup, rushing through life is not such a good state to be in. Let's change!

judy - Well, now you've made me go and tear up. You, m'dear, are chock full of sweetness!

Jane said...

So true. Just think of the billions of things said to you in your life, but it is only a few times that we remember something that was meaningful and from the heart. It sticks with us forever for a reason.

Susan said...

I can't agree more. You, with your small gestures and kind, loving heart, have brightened up the lives of many people. Yours truly included. Wishing you and the Family Pea a wonderful, loving and happy holiday.

Anonymous said...

Not only are you an inspiration to all who live in this area but especially to me and my better half. We love you. A blessed Christmas and great 2012 to you, Papa Pea and CM!

Sparkless said...

What a wonderful story and reminder. The secret is to get the compliment right and be sincere. Making up just anything and just saying it to be nice doesn't cut it. People will hear the words as hollow. But I'm sure that most of us can think of a kind word for everyone and I'm starting today!
I've had people say something kind to me and it has made my day, heck my month or year. You are so right, Mama Pea, it is the little things that count.

Carolyn Renee said...

I also read her post yesterday & the link to the video....it was great!

As are you! You're a kindhearted, wonderful nutjob!! :)

(How's THAT for a sincere compliment!?)

:)

Mama Pea said...

Tom Stewart - Yes, there are many, many who have it harder than most of us trying to do the right thing on our homesteads. Some people say we have to have the "downs" to appreciate the "ups." Probably very true. Thanks for commenting, Tom.

Jane - Unfortunately, some of the not so nice things said stick with us forever, too. ;o)

Susan - Well, Missy, you're no slouch in the kind, caring and loving department either! So there. :o]

Anonymous - I'm calling a foul! No fair! You can't be so complimentary (even if ya don't know whatcher talkin' about) and not let me know WHO YOU ARE! I really have no clue so please come out of behind the "Anonymous" label! (Talk about making a gal feel good though . . . you've done it! Thank you so much.)

Sparkless - Oh, for sure, we've all had the experience of receiving a hollow compliment! But those are so obvious that they're almost not worth discussing. I'm going to try to be kinder and gentler with everyone as you are. I put that into practice just this morning when I felt like decking a certain person I live with (who shall remain nameless) but instead made the effort to smile realizing I didn't have to react in the way I did. ;o]

Carolyn Renee - Thank you, Sweetie! Coming from you, I know it was a true compliment!!

Patty said...

Beautiful post and so, so true! :) Merry Christmas!

Karen L. said...

What a fantastic post! I don't really even "know" you and I like you!!! It's such a nice "blog family" that you have here. Kindness abounds. Keep up the good work ... um, with the blog posts not with the DIY as you are on a well deserved break remember. (Just checked your quilt blog. Nothing yet! Am I going to have to make a trip to your place?)

Mama Pea said...

Patty - Happy Holidays to you and yours, Patty!

Karen L. - I know, isn't it a truly heart warming experience the "friends" we've made through blogging with people we may never actually meet face to face? I love it!

Uh-oh, wait, don't give me grief quite yet on no post on my quilt blog. We're trying to clean the garage (ya wouldn't believe the mess!), get a Christmas tree up, unpack some boxes of books that have been stored in our bedroom for months and back up on the shelves over the windows in the kitchen and temporarily hook up the stereo in the living room so we can play some Christmas music. (Plus all the "regular" stuff that has not been tended to as it should during our tool belt wearing period.) Soon as that is done, I'm heading for the quilt studio!! I promise.

Stephanie said...

What a beautiful story Mama Pea!! Thanks for sharing, it touched my heart:)

dr momi said...

Words are powerful!

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - You're most welcome. The story came out because of your blog post. Thank you!

dr momi - Oh yes, words ARE powerful. That's why we should always remember to use them respectfully! :o}

Sue said...

Very very true!!
A wonderful Christmas to you and yours.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - And the same to you, Sweet Sue!

StitchinByTheLake said...

I enjoyed this post so much! As a former educator I saw how important it was to always find some redeeming feature in every child. Sometimes it wasn't easy. :). But it always made a difference in the way he/she responded to me and to classmates. Blessings, Marlene

Mama Pea said...

StitchinByTheLake - Hi, Marlene! My husband was a teacher in third grade for umpteen years and he said it was so important to catch a child doing something good . . . and to praise him for it. (Also, it's important to remember it's always the child who doesn't "deserve" a hug that so desperately needs it.)

Thanks for your kind words. Happy New Year!