Spread the Love

Posted on November 5, 2009


The other day I went running at our local community center, Kent Commons. The weather is getting stormy, so I wanted to use the treadmill. Going in the early afternoon means the training room is pretty empty, and I can run as long as I want without inconveniencing anyone.

I walked in to the center and offered to renew my ID card. The system was down. Apparently I’m well enough known there, and displayed enough honesty by admitting my card expired, that they let me in. They asked me to renew next time, which I will.

I ran 4 miles in decent time, training for the Christmas Rush 10K in December. I was pretty rubbery after my run. I still had my MP3 player on. I moved to some open floor to stretch out. Another user moved toward me, and I stepped out of his way. He waved to get my attention, and held up my key to the training room. It had fallen out of my pocket. I thanked him, because it was the right thing to do, but also because I was genuinely touched by how sweetly persistent he was about the whole thing. He was a little embarrassed.

After turning in my key and retrieving my (expired) card, I got about half way to my car when I saw one of the exercise class teachers. She was carrying a large portable stereo, a cup of coffee, and some workout gear. I offered to open the front door for her, and she accepted. I turned around, walked back, and let her in the building.

I’d like to think I would have done that no matter what, just to be a nice guy, but after two people being so gracious to me in less than an hour, there was no way I wasn’t going to help out.

Everything we do, especially in public, affects those around us. So ask yourself: What kind of difference are you making today? Winston Churchill said, “When you’re trying to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.” You’re probably not trying to kill anyone, so why can’t you make a better difference?