Earlier this week, my family and I received a small gift from one of our neighbors who is an acquaintance. We see each other in the elevator, exchange hellos and are always smiling when we talk to this person. I’ve always told Spiro this woman has to be the nicest person in the world and in my household, that is how we refer to her. We don’t refer to her this way because of anything she has done for us, this is her moniker because of who she is as a person. Her energy is amazing and every time I encounter her I’m excited to see her. She puts an automatic smile on my face.
One person can stop the world.
After casually crossing paths with her for the last four years, she gave my daughter an unexpected gift. Along with the gift was one of the most beautiful letters I have ever received. It made me feel like it needed its own moment. Not because it said nice things about myself or my family, but because it serves as a simple reminder of something we can all do. Life can be difficult but it can also be really beautiful. This note meant more to me than she could ever know. This is what it said:
Dear Spiro, Corri and Zelda,
First and foremost, of course I had to get Zelda a pastel haired Barbie for kinship, her story couldn’t be more adorable. It was so sweet Corri to hear of your description of observing Zelda thinking of this pink hair concept and following through with it, and being so proud. I was touched at Zelda’s awareness but also at your appreciation of her developing personality. It was also precious to listen to you Spiro talk so lovingly about your daughter, your adoration is so obvious and beautiful. You are both such wonderful parents, Zelda is very fortunate. It is obvious she has her parent’s spirits of optimism, confidence, ambition and enthusiasm for life and all the good potential in it. The gifts you give her by your examples and your love, are and will always be one of her greatest gifts and will make such a difference in her life.
I am writing you this note today, to of course first hopefully provide Zelda a “pastel hair rocks” moment, as well as to stop the world and all that’s in it to acknowledge and admire the two of you, the wonderful parents you are and the people you are. You are both so kind, so energetic, so upbeat, the list really goes on and on. It is always a pleasure to encounter you, to have an exchange with you. The world is going through some difficult challenges at this time, it isn’t unique, each generation in all worlds have their struggles, our parents did, our grandparents did, and our children will as well, however I thought I’d take a moment at this time to focus on some positive energy today, the two of you. To compliment you on what you are and have become, which I know hasn’t been easy nor is easy everyday, yet you make it look simple. You never complain, you stand strong for what you believe in, and continue to persevere in life no matter what, in any aspect, parenting, careers, friendships, alliances, beliefs. It is a pleasure and very inspiring to know you, and in a world that often tends to focus on the negative I thought it might be nice to reach out and express some niceties to two I admire and am happy to have met.
I wish you both continued days filled with Zelda’s beautiful essence, as well as good health, strength, love and all you wish for yourselves. Who knows what the next hair color will be, or what adventures are ahead for sweet Zelda, what a priceless road it will be, and as long as she has the two of you, I am sure her life will always be wonderful. Take good care.
After I read this note I had a moment where I broke down in tears. I read it over and over again. I was so overwhelmed with the goodness that exists around us. It really resonated with me when she wrote, “I am writing you this note today, to of course first hopefully provide Zelda a “pastel hair rocks” moment, as well as to stop the world and all that’s in it to acknowledge and admire the two of you, the wonderful parents you are and the people you are.” The words “to stop the world” demonstrated what really happened to me. As I read her letter the world really did stop. For a moment, everything froze and I was fully invested in her words. As I read on, her words were refilling my heart in an unexpected and very needed way. We all have the power of positive words and they truly can stop the world. Writing or speaking kind words costs nothing.
How to stop the world with kind letters.
I think people forget this because many times we are skewed by numbers. This comes from social media where we constantly see follower counts and likes. However, stopping the world isn’t about numbers – it only takes one person to stop the world. Her note made me want to do the same thing for others. This tiny typed note trimmed with scrapbook scissors and sealed with the perfect sticker in an envelope with my name spelled correctly meant more to me than any other gift that could have possibly been dropped off, and it cost nothing.
It’s easy to get caught up in our own world because we are busy. However, since I surround myself with so many beautiful people, I feel inspired to send them a note of admiration or love. I decided I’m going to try to write one note a month, and I challenge you to do the same. When you’re in the moment and thinking those things, write it down. It doesn’t have to be a perfect letter — it can even be a text or an email. Simply let those people know you’re thinking about them and what you’re thinking. Outwardly putting those words into the universe means so much.
Last night, I told Spiro I felt like we won the Oscar of parenting or something. When someone unexpectedly acknowledges something you work so hard at and feel like you’re doing right (but are never really sure), it does something truly magical. It’s something I’m going to try to be better at as an employer, as a friend and as a parent. I want to fill the world with little notes of love because they are really powerful. If you have something similar you’ve done, I’d love to hear about it. I think these ideas truly inspire and to my beautiful, wonderful neighbor, thank so very much. It means more to me than you ever could have imagined.