• Matthew Kaufman

All the Small Things

“She left me roses by the stairs. Surprises let me know she cares.” - All the Small Things by Blink-182

This week, I’ll be taking a moment away from my usual tech and math talk because there’s something I want to ask you. What small, unsolicited, unceremonious, gesture of kindness have you made recently? I want you to really think about when the last time you did a nice thing for someone you care about. You can’t count you doing a favor for them or a nice gesture you did for them because they were down in the dumps. Doing that is just your responsibility to them as a loved one. You do that because it is part of supporting them and in turn, they hopefully support you. If you find yourself hard pressed to come up with an answer, then I urge to stop reading this now, and go do something, right now. Give your Nana or some other family member a call if you’re lucky enough for them to still be around and to be on

good terms with them. Go buy your friend a movie, music album, or a book that they’ve been wanting. This post will still be here by the time you get back, so just go and do it.

Now if you’re still with me here, you’ve either gone and done that, you did something recently, or you’re hopefully planning on doing something once you finish reading. With this said, I want you to try and think about the last time someone did something like that for you. It may have been a while as there’s not a lot of these kinds of gestures going around. Let me tell you though, the impact it has on that person is immeasurable. Birthdays, holidays, bad days, and many other things will come and go, but that memory of being on the receiving of just a completely random heartfelt act from someone you care about will never fade. There is something innately meaningful about the concept of a person just performing an action for someone else just to demonstrate they care, and for no other reason.

These kinds of things don’t even have to be material or physical. Even just giving someone a completely genuine compliment out of the blue can be massive to them. These simple words too can hold deep significance in our lives. Let it be a compliment that is about them as a person, not their appearances. Getting complimented on your behavior as a human being can be massive because it’s easy to write off that compliment about looking good. You could look good because you put makeup on today or because you dressed a little nicer, or maybe just because you have naturally good genetics. But a compliment on your inner self is deeply impactful because you have always have one hundred percent control of that and you can’t just perform a superficial action, like putting on a bit more blush, to change that inner self.

When Hollywood tries to stereotype a kind or loving person, they do these kinds of things. They have the doting boyfriend main character buy his love interest a box of chocolates or flowers just to show he cares. It works too, doesn’t it? We see these kinds of things happening and our opinions of that person immediately sky rocket. For only appearing in the first few minutes of the movie, John Wick, movie goers all have a cemented belief that she was a wonderful person. She less screen time than the ads that play before the movie in a theater, yet we hold her in high esteem because the last thing she does is one of these acts of kindness.

One reason is that there are many people these days who feel powerless to affect their situations. The world is so big and there is so much out there, that it feels hard to believe that doing something so tiny could matter. In all reality, it’s those tiny things that can start a snowball effect causing wonderful outcomes on a grand scale. The act might not mean anything to the world at large, but it might mean the world to someone, and you never know what that might make that someone do.

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