Have you ever found a penny in a parking lot, or on the floor of a store? There was a time when people actually bent over for those pennies. They were worth something back then. Now days people hardly bend over to pick up a quarter, let alone a penny. Those copper like circles are nearly everywhere – and most people don’t care.
Over the years, I’ve learned how great an impact a penny can have in a person’s life. Truth is, a penny completes a dollar; it often completes a purchase and if short a penny, it can be rather aggravating – especially if the counter does not have a tray of pennies available for those stressful penniless times.
Recently, my wife and I were at Home Depot. I was looking for caulk while she went to the flower section. (My wife and I don’t have much in common when it comes to hardware stores – except when we were building our house)
She found what she was looking for, paid for it and waited patiently for me. While waiting a dirty construction man at another register became exasperated and anxious (to say the least) when the cashier told him that he was short a penny.
I need a penny...
“I need a penny?” he asked the cashier. “Yes” she said. “You mean, I really do need a penny?” He asked once more. “Yes sir, you need one more penny.”
At this point, as he was looking around, wondering where he could get a penny or something like that, my wife went over to him and asked him: “Do you need a penny?” “Yes I do” he said. “Ok, here you go” my wife replied.
She handed him a penny that she actually found in the parking lot on the way into the store. No big deal right!
The man thanked my wife about twenty times before he finally left the store. He was incredibly grateful. A penny - no big deal.
The act of kindness
The man was amazed that my pretty little wife was willing to give him (a stranger) a penny. If that was not enough, a well-dressed man began to leave the store after paying for his merchandise when he whispered to my wife – on the way out – “that was a very nice thing you did ma’am.”
My wife was surprised that another person, at another register, noticed her “cheap” act of kindness. That “cheap” act of kindness made a valuable difference in a dirty construction worker, a cashier and a businessman at another cash register. One penny act of kindness made three people’s day. Oh wait – that’d be four people – my wife was tickled too.
Remember, don’t assume that because it is nearly unimportant, your gift, your action, your encouragement, your smile, or whatever big or small, can make an impact in someone’s life. You never know when a small act of kindness (a penny worth – in your estimation) will help somebody as you demonstrate kindness with the real you – your natural brand. Go make a small investment that makes a big difference in someone’s life.
I wonder, what type of experiences have you had where your small act of kindness made a big impact in a person’s life? Or vice-versa – you had he big impact from someone’s small investment. Go ahead and comment below.