Few weeks ago, I visited a friend that I haven’t seen in a long while who has been dealing with depression for years. Not being a licensed therapist, I had always felt inadequate in all my attempts to help. Though I had been there for her, listened attentively, and encouraged her multiple times, it still felt like I wasn’t doing enough and my efforts weren’t really helpful. Throughout the years, I had encouraged her to pick back up her hobbies and try a therapist.
Days before my visit, I had bought her some gift and her favourite chocolate. Knowing she loved it, I had to visit the store again to buy a bigger pack because the first pack seemed too little. Couple days later, and there I was again contemplating buying an even bigger pack. But, the gift bag held me back because anything bigger than the current pack of chocolate won’t fit.
Finally, the day of visit came. On getting there, we exchanged pleasantries and shortly after, she unboxed the gift. She was more excited about the chocolate than anything else that was in the bag.
Her: “I’m so surprised that after all these years, you still remembered my favourite chocolate.”
With a chuckle, I immediately responded “of course I do! Why won’t I?!”
To her, it meant a lot that I remembered because she herself had forgotten that it was her favourite chocolate. To me, it was just a small gesture that didn’t cost much. Seeing her smile and happy again was a confirmation that I should have gone back to the store for the third time and grab a much bigger pack of chocolate. Instead, I let an inanimate object talk me out of it. Yeah, I know, bags can’t talk, but isn’t there a saying along the lines of silence being the loudest? The gift bag loudly persuaded me otherwise, and I unquestionably fell for it.
We laughed and talked and laughed some more. She told me all about her new therapist and how it has been helping. It made me so happy seeing her smile again and talk about her progress thus far. The following day, she shared on social media “how sweet it was [that she] remember[ed] that…you really remembered how much I love a brand of chocolate after these years?? Even I forgot my favourite chocolate!”
I didn’t think I did anything special or big— I just grabbed a piece of chocolate that someone I cared about enjoys. However, in her own words: “small gestures mean a lot ! It may mean more than you think.”
It was then that I realized that my little act of kindness, though small, was mighty.