Coming up, my folks were always generous with their time. Sure, they'd volunteer for political, civic and cultural causes. But there were always people coming by the house on the weekends or school nights to seek counsel from one or other of my parents.
I learned from that example and have always been willing to meet with (or increasingly these days, email with) anyone at least once. It makes me feel good to share my "lessons learned", ideas or perspective. That feeds two of my core values: helpfulness and creativity.
Yesterday, I got a note from a woman I'd spoken to more than a dozen years ago when she was just starting out in her own business:
"I so very much appreciate the time you spent with me that day. And I think often of some of the more salient points in the conversation..."
Wow! I was (and still am) beaming.
There are two lessons here:
- Be generous with your time. When people seek your counsel, give it. It's not only a way to feel like you're giving back, but it might give someone the support, confidence or input to fulfill their dreams.
- Show your gratitude. When someone does something nice for you, it's never too late to say thanks. You'll make their day. I know a one-paragraph email made mine!
Small things can make a big difference, as my grandmother Memory Lee Aldridge Lester reminded me frequently. What small things can you do today that may pay off for you or someone else later?