The Power of 10: Make My Day

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Spoken by Poet, Writer and Activist, Maya Angelou. (April 1928-May 2014)

Make My Day is a phrase spoken by Clint Eastwood as he plays the vigilante character Dirty Harry. Guns blazing, car chases and plenty of violence. That’s not the meaning here.

The January 1, 2017 issue of Parade Magazine banner is “Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti” which seems a wonderful theme for a New Year. Like a hug, a pat on the back or $20 found in the pocket of your old coat, everyone would appreciate extra kindness. Can we really be spoiled by people being too nice? Kindness is a choice as is generosity. Kindness is an antidote to negativity.

Last month I wrote about SUCCESS. One expression of success in recovery is feeling a connection to our inner selves and to those who are around us – that is, a sense of community and belonging. I am reminded of a fellow who shared how part of his recovery and gaining a sense of worth was to make eye contact then say “good morning” to people who crossed his path as he walked from Metro to his morning appointment. Simply, a smile and a greeting gave him meaning and fed his soul. People responded. Most important, he felt uplifted What a nice ritual.


So, for this month there are many small things I will do to pay it forward and Make My Day.

• I will “Make My Day” by adding a few cents or dollars to the person digging for change at the check-out. Just today my 11 cents helped move the line along and brought a smile to a lovely woman.
• I will “Make My Day” by simply saying thank you, instead of “I know” when a kindly person offers me advice I did not ask for. I will work on zipping my lip and giving a word of appreciation.
• I will “Make My Day” by completing one of those customer satisfaction surveys that are on store receipts. This feedback from customers makes a difference to the cashiers and other retail workers. Some even get a small bonus!
• I will “Make My Day” by being part of a service project on Monday, January 16th. Being involved makes me feel better. Lighter.
• I will “Make My Day” by using my turn signal and then waving to the person who lets me change lanes rather than speeding up.
• I will “Make My Day” by bringing snacks and water to my son’s wrestling team. I don’t know these kids or their families. I do know they work hard at practice and some 40 matches in the season. I love being a supporter for my kid! Today it is 40 PBJ. Wednesday it was 20 sliced oranges.
• I will “Make My Day” by calling an elderly relative. I enjoy our chats but they can go on for over an hour! Instead of avoiding the phone I will pick it up. It will release some of my guilt because when I was in need she gave me so much.
• I will “Make My Day” by being a role model for my kids in expressing thanks to them. Instead of hovering and re-doing their work loading the dishwasher I will thank them each for remembering their chore.
• I will “Make My Day” by avoiding a chance to complain. It is so easy to be negative but so much nicer to say “Hey, no problem” when things go wrong. People mean well even when mistakes are made. Stay calm, move on.
• I will “Make My Day” by giving a sincere compliment. No “but” attached.
• I will “Make My Day” by removing clutter. I will continue picking up small trash when I walk my dogs. I will move my office to make room for changes at work. I will keep sorting and giving away “stuff” in my house. Getting rid of piles of paper is a benefit for my colleagues and my family. Being able to find things is a gift to myself. Clutter is like noise or the “snow” that was on old tvs. It serves no purpose and is annoying. Removing clutter makes room for more calm and happiness.

Speaking of clutter, we are forming a partnership of organizations to serve as a “Front Porch” in Gaithersburg. Among the offerings will be a twice monthly series of overcoming financial clutter. In the Sunday column of The Color of Money Michelle Singletary suggests a weekly step-by-step approach to improving your financial health while removing one or two areas of clutter in your personal space. Have a look at her ideas ( Washington Post 01/08/17) .

Peace be with you,
Dr. Catherine
January 9, 2017