Everyday, the people who work at Macomb County Habitat for Humanity cross paths with many people. Some are donors, others are volunteers. Scores are shoppers in our retail operations, and a handful of very special people call themselves Board members.
On any given day, as these men, women, teens and children grace our paths, we never know who is well or ill – happy or sad. All have vibrant smiles as they try to help our mission make sense. I try to remember this each time I meet a person and extend my hand to them. Are they here even though they should be healing? Why do they appear so elated? What losses have they incurred that might have hurt their heart or deflated their spirit.
A few weeks ago, one of my favorite aunts passed away. Aunt Mary was a “hoot,” and I know that my staff and family could sense that I was a bit down after the funeral.
Yesterday, when I finally arrived home and rifled through the mail, I found a beautiful, heartfelt card that illustrated how genuinely sorry the sender was for my loss. And tucked inside was a gift card to Starbucks for a coffee moment.
The sender said, “Have a cup of coffee on us. You’ll feel much better.” The intention was so pure and so genuine. I was completely moved by this person’s kindness and obvious interest in my well-being and happiness.
I was thinking about that today when I learned that one of our valued donors is struggling with a serious health issue. And I also reflected upon that gesture when I saw the happiness on the face of my Chief Operating Officer when she met her monthly goals.
Both were reasons to settle down with a cup of “Joe.”
This month, no matter where you are or what you are doing, try to remember this: the simplest gesture can touch someone’s heart when they are down. For me, it was coffee. But for someone else, it might be something as simple as a smile. Try it. Just watch closely and listen.
In the meantime, I’m purposefully being more aware, searching closer for telltale signs of sadness or joy, and keeping my coffee close. One cream. One sugar.
One dollop of kindness to go.