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Friday, September 23, 2011

My Gratitude Journal: Extras

Looking at the roles of major and minor characters and especially of the extras in our fiction has caused me to do some examination of the people in my life.

Since I've already admitted to being weird and thinking weird things, it probably won't surprise any of you that I frequently think about the "extras" in my life -- the people who come and go, whose presence touches my life in some meaningful way for a moment, but only for that moment.

My town has its share of four-way stop signs. We all know the rules of the road when it comes to such places, and yet there are occasional moments that aren't exactly covered by the rules. What if two folks arrive at the exact same moment, apparently, but the one on the left may have been half a second before the one on the right? In such cases, it takes a moment of communication between the two drivers.

I've had numerous occasions when someone waved me through ahead, easing my way. I may never see that person again, but for a moment he or she made my life easier.

Once I passed through a bridge toll path only to find that the driver of the pick-up, two ahead of me, had paid his own toll and the tolls for the following three cars. I never even saw that driver, but I still remember the way his small gesture blessed my whole day, and I've occasionally paid the toll for someone else as well. Paying it forward is often the best way to express thanks.

I've had people step out of the way in the grocery line when they had full carts and I only had a couple of items. I've tried to do the same when people behind me have only a few small things.

People can be so kind, courteous and thoughtful -- even to strangers. Today I'm grateful for all the people who have played tiny roles in my life, blessing me with kindness even though we may never meet again.

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