I was feeling abit tired, and grumpy - it was a busy time with high school students jostling one another to get off, and several of us passengers sort of trudging on the bus. One of the those times when all I wished to do was get home, change, and curl up with my book, and forget the outside world.
Across the aisle from me was an older man dressed in a suit, and cap of the sort war veteran's wear when attending official Legion functions. Across his chest was a row of at least 8 shining medals.
He was a smallish, gentle sort of man possibly in his late 80's.
A young woman, who I believe to be a university student, because we travel to the university on the same bus, mornings suddenly got out of her seat and sat down beside the older man.
She thanked him for his service, and let him know she recognized several of the medals, as her grandpa had had them.
For a moment the man seemed abit surprised, and then he smiled gently, listening to her as she thanked him again, she asked him where he had been stationed during the war, and when.
I saw a far away look in his eyes, as he remembered, and this I think was such a good moment.
That a young woman should acknowledge his service, and sacrifice in the war which we all know to have been so difficult.
Because he did fight for our freedom, and rights today..
I felt so proud of her, that she spoke up in gratitude.
Today in a post by a man named Tom, who is an early childhood educator, and writes the blog Teacher Tom, he talks about teaching his children to give compliments, and how the children just embrace this idea, spontaneously complimenting their peers on almost everything, even "I like your t-shirt". This is wonderful I think as the children are learning to reach out and say something encouraging to others. Adults have trouble being quite as free and spontaneous, and I know I've lost opportunities to make someone feel good by saying a positive remark, or word of encouragement, just through being overly reserved.
One of the comments on his post today, quoted Leo Buscaglia, and I think it's appropriate - "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential of turning a life around."
I have been the recipient of of many small acts of kindness in my life, and can attest to the healing power of kind words.
This is a simple, profound way to live better, and it doesn't require much effort, just being open to the moment - and seeing the opportunity to say the good thing.
I'm just so grateful I had this opportunity to witness this one wonderful moment in time.