Being appreciated is one of the amazing things that you could experience in your whole lifetime. Yet being appreciated is also one of the things that are very rare to hear. People have been so shy that they tend to just leave it off and say nothing to the person that they appreciate. A lot of us might be so intimidated, or for some, it’s just a natural thing for them to appreciate and admire someone that has just made a difference or even just lighten up their day.
I have lots of friends whom I really appreciate. They speak life, hope and love; they make me realize boatload of both good and bad things; they make me smile with their sense of humor; and they make me feel special by the little things they do. It is a typical yet genuine routine for me to take time thanking them and be responsive by what they do; even it is just a literally small thing. However, honest to truthfulness, all of the things that they have done mattered; a simple smile, a simple hello, a small gift, an inexpensive burger, a free ice cream, a corny joke, a hug—they all mattered to me and still are. You may find me so shallow with these kind of appreciation but appreciating someone means you appreciate their lives, not just the things that they do for you. Their lives mean to you and the world; that is what changes them deeply by appreciating them.
Months ago, it was October and it was my seventeenth birthday. I knew it was a God-given year to me once more that has gave me a new year to start my life afresh and a new set of journeys to take. Yet, it was also the saddest birthday that I had. Although my family and I celebrated, I was thankful for the dinner and their gifts; even so, something happened before we had our dinner together. Perhaps, I just really had my far-reaching assumptions that that day was going to be precisely special. But it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to be. The moment that I woke up that Friday, I thanked the Lord for another year and went on. I went to school and it seemed everyone was so busy with their thing (because we had our school events) and none of my close friends made my day spectacular; though they greeted me but not as special as I expected it to be, even it’s just a singing joyfully of Happy Birthday to me. I didn’t want to blame them, honestly. But I couldn’t help it. The day was boring; no teachers, few students. Next thing I know, my close friends had a cake for someone else, not for me. It was a birthday cake for another friend whom his birthday was the next day, and I was there sitting on my desk hiding my feelings trying its best to be okay.
I was about to go home but I didn’t feel like to; no one was at home yet because my family were all just coming to pick me up for celebration, so I stayed at school for an hour. In spite of that, one of my close and discerning friends ever came to me, looked at me in the eye and hugged me. I suddenly broke down. It was heartbreaking for me. My friend comforted me, listened to my rants and wiped my tears away. She pulled my arm and brought me to the cafeteria. She bought me two cupcakes, and a drink. She opened and removed the wrap off from the cupcake, pretending that there was a small candle and sang Happy Birthday silently. I couldn’t stop crying and crying. The tears that were pouring down on my cheeks were endless. I was beyond thankful for her; even though the whole day turned out to be not so good, she came it up with something further special. Maybe, the cupcakes costs ten pesos all in all, but the price didn’t matter to me at all. Her heart gave me so much warmth and comfort. She made a difference that I will never forget and until now, it still makes me cry. That is how strong the impact that she did.
I’ve felt pain, but I felt so much love too that God used my friend to have my heart beat like Christ’s. From that day on, I didn’t want anybody to feel bad or unloved on his or her birthdays. I gave and put efforts on the gifts I gave and the things that I do for them, with all of my heart and soul. I made sure my friends felt special about his or her day because I knew how it felt. Maybe, God has made me feel that way because it’s a message for me to give love to others now; or maybe God gave me that kind of burden with a privilege and a blessing not wanting to make people feel bad just because someone has forgotten their day.
The cupcakes might just cost cheaply but appreciating someone is such a big impact for any person. You could actually rebuild a destroyed life. A simple conversation could be a turning point for his or her life. A food treat to a friend might be one of the things that they feel deep affection. A pat on the shoulder might motivate someone to go on with his life. Maybe they need that to survive in this kind of life that they’re living. And they’re actually waiting for a miracle. And that miracle is, YOU AND ME.
Do something for a friend, or a family member. It might just brighten up their darkest night. Smile, hug, give a gift, or write a letter of appreciation. You don’t know where your little things go along the road. Remember, little things go a long way.
-Rinnah Ramirez 🙂