No, I don’t mean walking out of a public restroom with a surprise white train following you? Not that time you failed your essay exam because you misread the question or got the numbers in a year reversed. Has someone stood by you, or done something to help, and you thought THEY KNEW how grateful you were because you’re family? Or, because any good person would appreciate something like what they did for you? Did you realize how meaningful an act of kindness was when it happened?
More often than I’d care to say, I have failed in the art of gratitude. I don’t mean making a list at the end of the day. I struggle to be AWARE of ways people go ABOVE being decent people for me. That kind of social ignorance doesn’t make me horrible (most of the time,) it does dim the light of good that is bigger than a relationship. I’ll give an example:
After I became a fan of Shania Twain and became active on an internet forum for fans (yeah, a forum from back in the day, and I miss it.) I started to try and use the internet to make connections and reach the goal I had of meeting Shania. ( (; ) I met a girl, Julia, and she did everything she could to help me make my dream come true.
Julia helped me start a website about it, we started online petitions and she virtually canvased people. She wrote letters to people, during the UP! tour (A_FREAKIN_MAZING tour FYI ❤ ) she cheered me up every time another fan reported back with photos where they got on stage (it happened often, Shania is very interactive.)
I was so upset about lost opportunities, and hard work floundering in the face of luck, that I never thought to say thank you in an honest way. Julia showed no resentment toward me so, I never thought about it. Until *spoiler…….* I did succeed the story about what happened the weekend IT finally happened after 13 years is a a true “against all odds” story and I wanted to tell my friend.
But, I can’t find Julia to this day. After the Shania forum closed down we lost contact. I spent years with Julia and I whined, and cried, and b!tched about everthing going wrong and “impossibility” and, “unfairness” my friend helped me, and all she got out of it overall was the worst of me.
How likely are we to be that selfless. In the history of humanity tiny kindnesses don’t necessarily change the world as a whole, but they can change those who give and those who receive them. Our actions cause ripples. our inaction can too.
I may never connect with Julia again, but if I manage to I will thank her. I know there are people whose chance to express gratitude to another person face to face is gone, because that person has died, I’ve been there too. It doesn’t have to end that way, if we’re willing to work.
As I write the Sickybeat story, I do my best to grow into a better human; for Julia, and Lex, and so many other people who stood by me at my best and worst.