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rOs's avatar

Describe a time when a small gesture went a long way.

Asked by rOs (3524points) June 24th, 2011

When I was just an annoying fourth grader, I was on family vacation in Estes Park, CO. My 20 year-old cousin was there with his best friend. I expected them to ditch me when they decided to play Frisbee, but he invited me along without a second thought. He even patiently taught me different ways to throw and catch. I remember how much that meant to me. It may not have been anything to him, but it showed me a quality I’ve been trying to emulate ever since- selflessness.

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11 Answers

atlantis's avatar

I will always cherish the friend who stood by me when others were quick to leave me.

Judi's avatar

I was a young mother trying to raise three kids under 5, and my husband was not making enough money to make ends meet so I was babysitting other peoples kids As hard as we tried, we still had the power cut off a few times. It was a difficult existence. The hardest part for me was feeling, “less than.” I was babysitting for people who said, “I just can’t afford the power bill so I spend all day in the pool.” I wanted to scream, “You can’t afford? You have no idea what the meaning of that phrase is.”
One day, another one of the ladies I babysat for invited me and my children over for lunch. She treated me like an equal at a time when I felt so “below,” just about everyone I knew. I didn’t have a car, and she picked me and the kids up and took us to her house. She respected my opinion, and for some reason, to this day, that simple act of kindness shines as a really bright point in a very dark chapter of my life that happened over 20 years ago.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I don’t consider it a “small gesture,” but I’ll never forget the man who “had my back” in Vietnam when I desperately needed someone to do that for me.

Kardamom's avatar

Getting a few nice PM’s from some of the jellies after I gave some difficult, but heartfelt advice to a few other jellies who were going through a rough time. It’s nice to get lurve, but it really hits home when someone PM’s you and let’s you know that your advice was actually worthwhile and not just lost in the ether. : )

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I was in the first few months of dating my now ex partner when I met a good portion of his relatives at a party we were hosting. They knew I was American, they knew I was slightly younger than my partner but they didn’t know anything else. These are a very old fashioned and closely knit bunch, very critical and weary of “outsiders”.

My partner’s mother walked up to me in the middle of the room, turned me to face her and planted a lingering kiss on top of my head. From that, no one who may have thought it previously would snub me, avoid me, make fun of me, try to intimidate me, etc. I was “In like Flynn”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@rOs You didn’t need to whisper in your details!

When I was newly divorced and I had some car trouble or needed some tool or some kind, I’d go across the street to an industrial park and borrow their tools. One evening there was a knock at the door, and they guy who worked there handed me a brand new box of tools. He said, “I know you can use these,” and smiled. I cried for three hours.

linguaphile's avatar

When I was a single mom and using food stamps before the EBT cards were invented, I had to tear out tabs out of a booklet. It wasn’t a quick process, and often felt like it was taking a hour because 90% of the time I would get sour looks from people behind me in line—I felt like they judged me as if I was some “trash” that needed food stamps. It was extremely humiliating, although I realize now, probably mostly in my head, but…. so every single time I got a small smile and understanding nod from anyone behind me, I felt like they were an angel.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@linguaphile (I felt the same way about using them…..I was just mortified!)

Hibernate's avatar

I showed a few tricks and tips to a few persons a while ago [ long time ago ] then they returned to say thanks and we started a small friendship.

I never thought those advice will help that much but it meant a lot for them since they traveled a lot just to say thanks.

I was glad to help.

Oh and another one… I felt somewhat embarrassed at a friends wedding because of where I was sitting .. I was friends with the cook and I was sitting 80–90% of the time in the kitchen [ was much more comfortable there and the company was much much more better than at the wedding ] ... then he came and asked me to come sit with them and their families to take pictures. When I went there, well ... there were a few people knowing who I was and what I was doing there… everybody started talking. I did not enjoy that attention that much but it felt good for just a moment to have everyone looking at you.

zensky's avatar

Small gesture? Customer service rep. answering the phone politely, stating the name of the company, then his name, then a salutation. Is that so much to ask for?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@zensky and stopping there! I hate calling SWB. “Thank you for calling South Western Bell, your local and nationwide telephone service provider. We have specials for today only on combining internet, cable, and telephone services. We strive to be the best. My name is Nervia and I want to make you a very satisfied customer today so how can I help you today?” I feel like, “Shut up already! I’m burning air time minutes here!”

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