People on Reddit were asked: "What have you unknowingly done that meant the world to someone else?" These are some of the most beautiful answers.
1. Always remember to thank those who help you along
I recently just graduated from high school, and I felt like I should send some of my teachers a thank you note. For most of my teachers, I would just send a really generic, cliche email thanking him/her for teaching me etc. But there was one teacher in particular who really touched my heart and made me appreciate his teaching (We'll call him Mr. X).
For a little background information, Mr. X is a pretty tall, buff, tattoo-covered guy. He's also gay, and a lot of students would usually try not to associate with him, or even talk with him because of his sexuality. I'm straight, but I feel pretty indifferent about the fact that he's gay. He was my biology teacher when I was a junior, and he was such a nice person to me. But the thing that really makes me admire him is the fact that he is diagnosed with being HIV positive, and he's still teaching (I think he's in his mid 40's, which is even more impressive).
I spent a few hours typing up a very heart-felt email, and I sent it to him the day before I graduated.
The next day, as I was preparing to graduate, he came up to me and gave me an enormous hug. He was also in tears, sobbing and telling me that was the first time anybody has sent him such a thoughtful email in all his years of teaching. It turns out he was going through a serious time of depression, and he was not sure whether or not he wanted to continue to teach since he did not feel that many students really appreciated his time and effort. But my email gave him more hope, and refuelled his passion and motivation to continue to teach. He even told me that he printed out a copy of my email and keeps it in his desk, so "whenever he is doubting himself or feels like there's no point in living, he'll read my email and know that his hard work is not going to waste."
Needless to say, we have stayed in contact ever since. He has done so much in my life, and a nice thank you note was all he needed to give him a motivation boost.
2. Well when you put it that way...
I recently saw my uncle who I hadn't seen since I was 4 years old (I'm 23 now.) He pulled me aside and told me a story about the last time he visited, when he was outside smoking. He said, "I remember a little 4 year old girl coming up to me and saying, 'Why are you smoking? Don't you know it's bad for you?!' ...And that was the last cigarette I ever smoked." Who knew a goofy little kid's comment could have an impact like that?
3. Sometimes all it takes is one little word
I've lived in the same town almost my whole life (left for a little while, but came back). I have grown up with the same group of people for as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school, I used to hang out with almost everyone, and was a pretty popular kid. Every day during lunch, I would play basketball out in the "covered areas". One day the ball rolled out towards the field, and I decided to go grab it. This girl that I knew was pretty shy was playing with rocks by herself when the ball rolled near her. I, not thinking anything of it, called out "Hey beautiful, would you pass me that ball?". Her face went from a depressed frown, to a giant smile. Without saying a word she passed me back the ball, and I went on my way.
Fast forward years. We're in high school now. I'm a freshman going to get my schedule for my day. This stunning girl walks up to me with a huge smile. "Hi cutie, how was your summer?" We start talking, and I find out that that day had changed her life. She told me no one had ever said much of anything to her, especially not calling her beautiful. From that day on she was able to come out of her shell, because when she looked in the mirror, she knew someone saw something in her.
We ended up dating, and she was a wonderful person, inside and out.
4. What a difference can be made
When I was young, I went to an overnight camp that I loved. We spent all our time with nearly exclusively just our little group (five girls or so) so I eventually started the only coed meal table because the girls were annoying me.
An older girl sat with us one day at lunch, looking nervous and whatnot. She seemed sweet so a few of the kids tried talking to her, only for her to run crying from the table. I went after her, because that was the kind of nosy brat I was, and I got her to tell me what was wrong. She had severe social anxiety issues caused by her parents and bullies at school. I told her that she didn't have to be afraid of anything or anyone because she's a good person and that's all that matters.
By next year, I'd completely forgotten about the girl. I arrived at camp and was hanging around, waiting to get my room key, when a girl bounded up to me and gave me a huge hug. She was smiling and confident and happy and she was so excited to see me. She started thanking me and I realized it was the scared little girl I'd talked to the year before. She said I'd be the final push for her to find her confidence.
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