It was midweek when I made a bee line for my local supermarket. It was one of those days when I was determined to just get in, pick up what I needed and head straight back to the office. Being a no-nonsense shopper I am usually able to do exactly what I set out to do. Only this time, on my way out, I noticed a man stood near the exit dressed in an army sweater and beret. He stood there in silence shaking his box of poppies. Suddenly, I was overcome with a rush of emotion.
Knowing the sacrifices others have made for me and my generation and those before us filled me with awe, respect and gratitude. It seemed as though the world stood still while I made my way over to him and dropped my noisy donation into the can.
‘Thank you’ he said with a wrinkly smile as he picked out a poppy and pin for me.
‘No, thank you and those like you for all you have done for our sake’ I replied.
He looked at me with dewy eyes, took a deep breath and said ‘Yes, but not everybody stops’
That statement brought a lot of clarity to me. ‘Not everybody stops…’ My interpretation of his statement morphed into a question ‘How often do we allow ourselves to stop and appreciate others?’
It is Remembrance Sunday tomorrow, Armistice Day a few days later. Will you give a little time to remember those who fought bravely for your rights and your freedom? Will you take some time to appreciate those in your life today?
Make a list of at least five people you are grateful for. Then take each one in turn, make contact and let them know they are appreciated. A visit, a phone call, an email, a tweet, it doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it.
Stop being busy for a moment and acknowledge someone today. You’ll soon see just how much others appreciate you too.