The Little Things

Little things, I am a big fan. I’m not talking about the One Direction song, Polly Pocket, or micro pigs (awww but look at his little red boots)I digress. No, I’m talking about the little things that can make someone smile, or simply turn a crap day into a great one. Little things that are quite frankly, magic.

Undoubtedly one of my favourite little things consists of two simple words – thank you. What I love about it, other than the obvious fact it’s good manners, is that there are so many different ways we can say it. A hug, a high five, a kiss (dependent on the receiver of course), a note, a gift, a letter, or a look.

Saying ‘Thank you’ is a very powerful thing, it can make a demotivated member of staff feel appreciated and valued, in turn motivating them to do a better job. A good example of this is how Sir Richard Branson looks after his employees. He’s a true believer in valuing his staff and saying thank you in various ways (be it bonuses, perks, awards, etc.).

I truly believe that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business – Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard, if you ever require someone who’s trained in Beauty Therapy, has worked in Customer Service for a number of years, is happy to wear a mascot outfit and dance around like a complete knob, is creative, and babbles a lot. Then I’m your gal!

On another note, I’ve had a few parcels/purchases sent to me in the post, and I absolutely love it when there’s a little card/note to say ‘thank you’. Simple, yet effective. Those two little words again have the power to win my loyalty and purchase more. Fickle I know, but what can I say, I’m a sucker for a little polite/friendly touch.

I like to think of myself as polite, so much so, I once thanked a cash machine when drawing some money out. Yup, it’s safe to say my mum and dad instilled the politeness trait in me from a young age. Myself and my husband have also encouraged our little boy to say his please and thank you’s, and now he is a fully fledged polite boy, well most of the time, if you ignore the occasional finger grovelling up the nostril. So remember, always say those two little words whether someone’s made you a cuppa, or saved your life. Thank you is magic.

One of my other favourite little things goes hand in hand with the first, smiling. Smiling and saying thank you, what a winning combination. Yes I know I’m starting to sound incredibly cheesy, but I genuinely really love smiling. When I was a little girl I remember being sat in the dentist reception waiting for my appointment and seeing the following poem;

Smiling is infectious,

You catch it like the flu,

When someone smiled at me today,

I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner,

And someone saw my grin.

When he smiled I realized

I’d passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile

then I realized its worth,

A single smile, just like mine

could travel round the earth.

So, if you feel a smile begin,

don’t leave it undetected

Let’s start an epidemic quick,

and get the world infected!

How good is that? It’s safe to say it had an impact on me, and now I can be regularly found with a smile upon my face. Most people happily smile back, but to be fair this could be because they’re scared and think I look a bit bonkers. However on the odd occasion the smiling has backfired, and some men have taken it as a ‘Well hey there, I’m smiling at you because I want to rip your clothes off‘, and not in the ‘Hi there, I hope you’re having a great day. Here’s a nice innocent none coming on to you smile for you to pass on to someone else‘ kind of way. So yes it’s important how you smile, because let’s face it, there’s a fine line between looking like a friendly happy smiley person or a crazed lunatic.

As the poem describes ‘smiling is infectious’, and it truly is. Picture this, you’re having a bad day, the moment you wake up everything has gone wrong, you open the fridge to discover there’s no milk for your morning tea/coffee, both your sons have filled their nappies more than three times with a stink even a pig wouldn’t admit to, you sneeze just after applying mascara (hello there panda), and then you discover a large piece of your favourite wallpaper lying on the floor next to a newly naked piece of wall. Just before you’re about to drop to your hands and knees and say ‘Nooooooooooooooooooo!’ You see this;

You smile back, how can you not? All is well with the world. Crap day? What crap day? So there you have it, smiling is magic.

Lastly my other little thing is random acts of kindness. Now this one is  a little bit different, as it can vary from a small thing to something huge. So what do I define as a random act of kindness? It’s a selfless way to make another person smile, be happy, or feel valued/appreciated. One thing I tend to do a lot, is let anyone with only a few items go ahead of me at the supermarket, not an earth shattering thing to do I know,  but thoughtful, plus it means they don’t have to stand analysing what we’ll be eating for the next week. I also make a point of leaving good feedback if I feel a service provided has been particularly good, there’s no better motivator than receiving positive feedback.

A larger example of a random act of kindness is one I recently came across on a post shared on Facebook. A waitress called Liz Woodward from New Jersey left a note on the receipt for two fire-fighters.2AD9319500000578-3174789-image-m-24_1437880550835How lovely is that? But it didn’t end there. To show how much they appreciated it, the two fire-fighters did their own bit of research and found out Woodwards father was a quadriplegic and is bed bound. As a result the fire-fighters set up a GoFundMe page for him which is still receiving donations.

Something that a put a smile on my face recently was when I was travelling to York on the train. When the ticket officer came to check tickets, instead of the usual boring squiggle or tear, he drew a little smiley face on my ticket. Yes I know I’m very easily pleased, what can I say. But it certainly worked, and I like to think it made a fair few other people on the train smile to themselves too. Well done Mr Train Ticketman.

So whether it’s to buy a homeless person something to eat, taking your neighbours bins out, or helping someone struggling with their bags,  remember you’re helping to put a smile on another persons face, and there’s no better feeling than knowing you’ve brightened someone’s day. Who knows, your simple act of kindness may even change someone’s outlook or life.

My homework for you, is to be polite, smile and be kind, because after all kindness is (yep you’ve got it) magic.

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.

Dalai Lama
Gem x

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