01 January 2011

everyone matters

Happy new year! It's exciting to start a new year, a clean slate, full of possibilities and hope. It's funny that everyone feels that way in the beginning, and come December everyone can't wait to start anew.
You could say that I have sort of a knack for photography - I mean, I'm no professional or anything, I don't even have a fancy camera with tons of different lenses. But anyway, I compiled a bunch of my pictures and turned it into a calendar. The only thing I had to do was print it out and put a little spiral ring binding on it.
I planned to do it at the office where it wouldn't cost any money, but after an hour of trying with the printers, we realized that the network was down because it was a holiday. I was utterly deflated. I had spent so long compiling this calendar and we had come all this way for nothing.
Kinkos was closed too. I felt completely depressed. It was raining, pouring, actually, and for whatever reason I just got so caught up in having my calendar finished. So we pulled into Staples and they were open (yes!).
We walked into the almost empty store and went over to customer service, where a middle-aged woman came and took us back to help us. We had a lot of pages to print, and I knew it was going to take a while.
But she stayed and helped us for almost an hour figuring out how to print it perfectly. She complimented my photographs and asked me if I was interested in pursuing photography. Then, as she was binding the finished product, the edge of the page got cut. It was barely noticeable. Instead of saying nothing, she said, "if we make a mistake, we don't charge" with a little smile. I was so elated it was almost audible. After a whole afternoon of anguish, she didn't charge us anything. Not even half off, or 10% off. The whole thing. It would have been about a dollar a page and then money for the binding. About $30 or $40. That we didn't have to spend.
The whole day turned around. I felt so happy that someone would do something that nice for a stranger. And to tell you the truth, she really didn't mess up the calendar.
I was reading a chapter of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens by Richard Carlson and the chapter is titled "Convince yourself that one teen does make a difference". And this is completely true. It can apply to people in general. One person can make a difference. One person a long time ago was brave enough to revolt against the oppression of the government and help gain the independence of the United States. One person was brave enough to stand up for a whole race and fight for their equal rights. And while this is to a lesser degree, that one person made my day. Had she not been so nice I would have been moping around and feeling sorry for myself. But her kindness to a total stranger without expecting anything in return was really heartwarming.

So when your really down on yourself and feel like the world is against you, convince yourself that one person really does make a difference.

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