He didn’t know it at the time (and neither did I), but the gift he gave me that day has contributed to more joy over the years than I can count.
I don’t recall the date, but it must have been late summer. We had just had brunch, and I was admiring a dog across the street ????
Before I knew it, he grabbed my hand and headed in that direction to ask the owner if we could pet their dog.
I was half stunned, part mortified, and also completely thankful because I 100% wanted to pet that dog…but I didn’t have the courage to go for it.
Riddled with insecurities, and absolutely certain that it would be a huge inconvenience to the dog’s owner, I counted myself out before I even tried.
He didn’t know it at the time (and neither did I), but that day, he gave me the gift that has kept on giving ????
For those who know me now, you may find it hard to believe that there was ever a time when I didn’t pet every single dog I saw ???? Well, sadly, there were many years where this was the case ????
Gratefully, I’ve made up for lost time since ????
What I didn’t realize in that moment was that he’d unlocked something in me.
He wasn’t trying to teach me something.
He hadn’t set out time in his day to make sure I learned this lesson.
He just took action.
He saw something he was able to help with and he helped.
Plain and simple.
He didn’t explain it to me along the way, or walk me through a step-by-step of “how to approach a stranger and ask to pet their dog.” He simply showed me by doing. So much more is caught rather than taught, and that day, I caught a blessing!
He didn’t make me take notes, or quiz me on it later. In fact, I’m not sure we ever actually talked about it. I don’t think either of us knew how impactful it was until after the fact. And I don’t think I personally realized how meaningful it was for me until after we broke up and I found myself needing to be the one to approach the stranger and ask to pet their dog.
And you know what? I’ve been doing it for YEARS now, and it’s simply delightful!!
Sometimes I get awkward ???? and sometimes the owner declines. But I’ve lost count of the hundreds of dogs I’ve gotten to pet since learning this, and if you know me, you know how much joy every single creature brings to my life!
Moral of the story is…
-when you have the opportunity to help someone, help them
-have courage and go for it
-don’t wait until someone else does it – you go first
-people are always learning from you, whether you’re “teaching” them or not.
I would actually be surprised if he even remembers this, because I don’t think it was a marker moment for him. It was him being him. No show, no fanfare, no trying to impress anyone. Just him being a kind guy, and seizing an opportunity to do something for someone he cared about.
I’m so SO thankful he carpe’d that diem and blessed me with this never-ending gift ????
Ladies and gentlemen, we may never ever get to know how we’ve impacted people, but we can know that we’ve impacted them. And if you’re reading this wondering “have I ever done anything like this for someone?” be encouraged – there’s an excellent chance you totally have, but it just wasn’t a marker moment for you like it was for them. And, as in this example, it may not have been a marker moment until after the fact.
Be a “marker moment maker” in your everyday life.
Bless someone intentionally.
And live with kindness – even if you never know who it’s impacting, or how. The ripple effect will continue, whether you’re aware of it or not ????
P.S. This picture was not taken on the actual day, but this is about the timeframe, and I was wearing this dress, so enjoy the throwback (circa 2015)