Random Encounters as Teachable Moments

Describe a random encounter with a stranger that stuck out positively to you.

There’s a note on my refrigerator that was left for me by a customer I shopped for through Instacart.

Not much to you perhaps, but to me it is a gift of great price because this was the batch from hell during which I had a major meltdown, and yet during that fiasco I was gifted these words of support. I look at that note every day to remind myself there are those who value me as a human being, as is, with the gifts I offer.

There are many in this world who don’t value me. Or you. No matter who or what we are, to them we aren’t good enough. And so what? Who are they anyway? Forget them and let us focus on the ones that value us.

Like Patricia, whom I’ve never met in person, who thinks enough of me to have sent me a gift for my birthday. Her gift gave me so much, including work clothing and a lamp I bought at Goodwill, and a cute purse I snagged on clearance at the big box store that shall not be named.

Then there is my friend in the UK I know only as a Great Pyrenees named Clowie, who tweets greetings to me before every weekend.

And there’s you, who I may not connect with as regularly, but I do value those times when we do connect.

I hope today you believe you are enough. After all, narcissists and bullies believe that about themselves when they make the world miserable for the rest of us; surely you deserve so much more.

Who knows, maybe this random encounter with a stranger will have a positive impact upon you.


45 thoughts on “Random Encounters as Teachable Moments

      1. So true! I’ve tried to make an effort to give positive feedback. Every time I did in person, the result was positive for both of us. “You’ve made my day” is something I love to hear.

  1. What a lovely post Jen. Little things mean so much. I have a letter from the mother of a child who was placed with me for a fortnight. Apparently she didn’t have a kind word to say about anybody and ‘thank you’ was not in her vocabulary. Yet, she wrote me a letter, thanking me for looking after her boy. I still have it, and it is one of my most treasured possessions.

      1. We actually met when we took a bicycle up for him as we’d bought the boys bigger ones. he was over the moon with it, and his Mum a little tearful, bless her.

  2. Thank you for the words of encouragement. Sometimes we never know whose life we touched but everything happens for a reason.

  3. I feel you. There’s one student I have who leaves me notes in the same vein every few months. I thank her but she may never know how much it truly means

  4. About 20 years ago I went a place sort of like Chuck E. Cheese and there were a group there from some type of center for the developmentally disabled. I can’t recall anything but the scenario and a very clear visual of a young woman with down syndrome sitting at one of those racing games, spinning the wheel. She wasn’t even really playing and she didn’t utter a legible word. But her eyes and face and sounds were joyous. She was on cloud 9. Her therapist was with her. She was dressed too nice I thought to be an aide and she was smiling from ear to ear. I never saw them again but at that moment all I could think was for probably one hour a week by doing something we all take for granted was probably one of the highlights of that girls life. Then I thought how cool it would be to impact someone’s life by doing so little. I also thought how fulfilling to get paid to help people and want to go to work in the morning. I always smile, show respect, look people in the eye, and try to pay attention. I believe time is priceless and definitely the most appreciative thing I’ve ever received.

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