I did something today that made someone’s day. A total stranger. They had been having a bad time of it recently, and I blogged about them and as it turns out, what I said made their day a bit better. It was unintentional. Sometimes, the best things in life are.
I was blogging about the work that an organization has been doing, which in my opinion is really good. Surprisingly good, actually, because they are doing their job better than most other organizations of their kind in Canada, and they’re a very small organization. So I wrote my blog, and then I emailed a link to them to say, “I know it’s not much, but I think you’re doing great work, and I wanted the world to know too. Well done you.” I didn’t expect a response; I just thought maybe it might pique a little interest.
Boy, did I get THAT wrong. On a number of levels. And all, it seems, in a good way.
Turns out, this organization is one man, working his butt off, doing what he loves. He fights the good fight to do the best work that he can in the face of naysayers and low budgets. He marshals a team of dedicated volunteers and donated time and sometimes unreliable equipment, and he makes it work really, really well. I don’t think he knew anyone noticed, or cared, about the work he was doing. And this one fellow was having a really crappy time of it recently. He didn’t say why, and I didn’t ask. But when my email came in, it made a difference in his day.
I had written to say that I was impressed and to keep up the good work. And this one fellow, having a really bad day, was very grateful. He was touched to know that someone noticed. He was happy to know that he’s not been working in vain for all this time. He’s got an email and a blog post that he can use to support what he’s doing and hopefully get the backing to do more. And he was happy to have the validation for all the time and energy he’s put in.
BDH and I have always said we like to live by the philosophy, “Everyone should feel they are doing well.” So in a world where people often complain about service or quality or price or whatever, we endeavour to tell people when we are really pleased with something. We want people to know that what they do makes a difference and makes us happy. It takes very little effort on our part. It’s really not a lot to do on our part. Or so we thought.
As it turns out, it is. Sometimes people need to feel they are doing well. Sometimes appreciation of one’s work is all they need to turn a day around. Sometimes a few kind words really can make all the difference.
It cost me nothing but a little time. But I feel like even though I wrote to tell someone they were doing well, I am the one reaping the rewards.