Just One Little Thing
True story from “This American Life” podcast: A recently outed gay young man and his boyfriend from Utah, after a mistakenly positive HIV test, decide to spend their remaining funds on a trip to NY to see as many Broadway shows as possible. While standing outside the theater after one particular G-rated type musical, a man they did not know strikes up a conversation, then hands the couple $200.00 and suggests they use the money to buy tickets to “Sweeney Todd”. It will change their lives, he says. They accept, even though the man is a total stranger on a street corner in NYC. They buy tickets and attend the show. The young man is indeed changed as a result of the show, inspired to move to New York and try acting on Broadway. He is now a successful Broadway musical actor appearing recently in Steven Sondheim’s “Company”. Without that brief moment of trust in humanity, he would have probably returned to Utah to a life of fear and regret. One little thing changed everything.
Another story from our own lives: Dr. Lisa and I: Our getting together, our marriage, our business, our family began with one hello on the way to Publix one Sunday afternoon. One brief moment changed our lives forever.
Can you think of a moment in your life when everything changed? Or one where it might have but didn’t because you fearfully chose not to engage or participate? I have several of both categories in my life and I suspect you do as well.
The positively transformative moments occur because you face them with courage, love, openness and trust. Which can be very scary. Facing fears is not easy.
Because most people are motivated by the same characteristics - the desire to be seen, heard and to matter - the default for most is kindness.
My advice to you is this: Try not to immediately discount a random act of kindness or generosity as opportunism or malevolence. It may be genuine and it may possibly be the moment that changes your life, forever.
I’d love to hear your stories about how your life changed in a moment because you chose to engage. Call, write, text or connect!
Dr. John Monaco