Perspective: A Small Kindness Can Make A Big Difference

Aug 13, 2019

When we think of people who changed our lives, I think most view long-term events. But when I look back, I realize that a few people influenced my life with a single act of kindness.

When I was a teen in Florida, my parents went car shopping. They had very little money and even less knowledge about automobiles. They were quite taken with a used Pinto, especially after the salesman’s pitch. But an older gentleman who worked as a porter quietly warned us as he escorted us back to our car. He said to avoid the Pinto at all costs -- it was dangerous. Later, we found out that this Pinto model could explode. This man, who probably worked for barely more than minimum wage, looked out for strangers --possibly risking his job -- and might have well ended up saving our lives.

Many years later, I had a call that my sister was critically ill hundreds of miles away. My husband and I had to leave in haste, only having time to call our pet sitter, the daughter of my co-worker and neighbor Deb. My sister passed away, and when I returned, I had to deal with this loss. But it was eased somewhat by discovering that the dirty sink of dishes had vanished … Deb and her daughter had washed them. That may seem like a small act, but it loomed large at this very difficult time.

Stranger or neighbor -- one smile, one word, one act can make all the difference.

I’m Lori Drummond-Cherniwchan, and that’s my perspective.