So yesterday was kind of my day to show appreciation to those around me who make my life a little bit brighter. I chose two co-workers who are particularly pleasant, upbeat people that I look forward to seeing every day (I actually look forward to interacting with my co-workers - this job is a keeper!). I went to the magazine store down the street and bought two pop-up cards. I wrote a simple message on each one: "You make me look forward to coming here every day. You're a fantastic person to work with!"
One of them had been having an attack of nerves as she prepared for an interview she didn't think she was ready for. When she got back from lunch and read the card I'd left on her keyboard, she says she suddenly wasn't nervous and aced the interview. (I didn't know about the interview beforehand, and thankfully it's for a position in our own group, so she won't be moving away!).
The other was so touched, she ran into my cubicle and hugged me, said I had made her month, and hugged me repeatedly for the next 20 minutes or so, trying not to cry (which, of course, made me cry).
I'm not trying to make myself seem like some fantastic human being for doing this. I'm trying to spread the joy. It's SO EASY to make someone's day with such a small gesture. Buy someone a coffee. Send a funny e-card to someone you don't see often. Mail a card to a friend who lives in another city. Invite a cousin over for dinner :) Small, simple acts can really change a person's perspective, and make them feel loved and valued. Let your light shine!