Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Little Sweetness that's Richer than Chocolate!

--by nidhena, posted Nov 18, 2008

I thought I would share with all of you my first experience of tagging another person with a smile card which was most memorable for me not only because of what it did for the other person, but also because of how I felt I positively changed in the process.

I was taking a class in college that was a somewhat intimidating place to be because it was academically rigorous given that we had weekly quizzes and it was the one class taught by the dean of the university. When it would come time to discover how we performed on those challenging mini-exams, each of us would trudge over to the dean's office with frightened faces to retrieve our quizzes. Fortunately, though, each time we would head over to his office, the tension in our faces would slightly relax a minute before we picked up our exams as we would each be greeted with the kindness of the dean's secretary, the gatekeeper of our quizzes. Cradling a bowl filled with little aluminum-wrapped hershey kisses in her hand, and carrying a warm smile on her face, she would gesture us to come through the door. She would affectionately name each student with an endearing term, such as "sweetie" or "darling" and enthusiastically encourage us to reach into the bowl for a sweet treat. Her love was given to each one of us individually, despite the lengthy line of anxious students that often extended out the door. Her bowl of miniature chocolates was an equal opportunity bowl as every student was honored with one whether that student did particularly well on the quiz or whether the student bombed it (as we all had those weeks) . Even though it was just a little piece of chocolate, receiving the treat made me feel like I accomplished something besides just the grade.

After that moment, I felt compelled to do something nice for our favorite secretary. I didn't have time to buy anything nice with finals rapidly approaching, so I bought her a sack of miniature chocolates to replenish her supply of sweetness. After delivering the chocolates to her, she thanked me and gave me my first hug of the day and wished me luck on my upcoming exams.

Seeing her light up with a smile for being appreciated (in a job where she was primarily the recipient of complaints about the administration), not only added value to her day, but also added value to mine, which went far beyond the monetary value of the sack of chocolates.

Walking home that day was different than the other post-quiz days.  My steps were lighter, the air was sweeter, and I was smiling.

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Readers Comments

MakeSomeoneSmile wrote: That's great that you were so thoughtful! I'm sure it meant far more to her than to you. Thanks for caring and doing something so kind!
JuneBug wrote: Ah! Chocolate! The answer to EVERYTHING!!! :}
lmil1954 wrote: I agree with Junie! Way to go, it meant a lot to the secretary you can be sure. Linda:)
AURELIA wrote: Good for you for being so caring. You have a big heart and SMILE now TOO. :) ~Aurelia
Raqui wrote: That is very sweet and I think she is greatful and feels like you thought about her more than just when you go in the office.

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