Marissa Zelazo, ‘12
Thank you, to the janitors, teachers, staff, and students, who share a smile as I walk past them on any given day. This small connection can brighten up my day even after all my toast has burnt, my socks are wet, and my nose is cold. I hold on to that smile in my mind for as long as I can.
Thank you, to the people who wait to keep the door open for a moment as I rush to class behind them. You care about someone other than yourself and for that instant of recognition and respect, I appreciate it.
Thank you, to the people who glance at my jewelry, dress, or shoes and are nice enough to say, “I like that.” You do not act jealous, you do not act hateful, and because of this, I smile.
Thank you, to the students sitting next to me who ask how my day has been. It may not have gone too well, but the fact that you ask makes it that little bit better.
Thank you, to the people in townhouses that offer a place to crash whenever I need it, supplying the extra pillows and blankets.
Thank you, to the people who write random comments on my Facebook just for the heck of it.
Thank you, to the people who run to give me a hug, instead of standing where you are, or thinking you’re better than everyone.
Thank you, to the people who welcome me at my new job with open arms and thoughtful questions.
Thank you, to the classmate who picked up my pen after I dropped it and said, “There you go,” with a smile.
Thank you, to the woman who gave me an extra 3 cents to pay for coffee, as I needed it before my morning class but had empty pockets.
Thank you, to the person who didn’t laugh when you saw me stumble, and instead simply asked if I was alright.
Thank you, to the person who let me in front of them in line because she saw that I had fewer items. And when she was forced to wait for 10 more minutes when the register froze, she gave me an understanding smile and said, “Don’t worry about it, it’s fine.”
In a world of high-tech devices and attention given to material items, it can be easy to forget that “giving” means more than material things or gifts which might just sit in the return isle. It means giving of yourself, your empathy, your effort, your ideas, your patience, and going the extra mile.
It’s the extra two seconds it takes to say “good job” or even just a “hi.”
It’s standing up for someone who’s being bullied, when it’s not the coolest thing to do all the time.
It’s giving as much as you take, and not taking more than you give. It means living by the golden rule.
And that doesn’t cost a dime.