So something tiny happened like one day ago but I’m still thinking about it. Thought I’d share.
I was just having a group sharing session with some church mates and all of a sudden, one of them (a close friend of mine) mentions that I was the first girl who ever talked to him in church.
We all laughed it off and I made a joke about it, but what he said really stuck with me and this is why: I had absolutely no recollection of this. We’d been friends for so long that I had kind of forgotten the “origin story”, if you will, of our friendship. And he went on to say that this friendship he formed with me was one of the reasons he was now able to feel comfortable in the church environment.
This sounds like such a tiny little thing, but it made a big impact on me because I suddenly realised:
Everything you do in life affects the people around you in some way. A smile, a “good morning”, a conversation started, a laugh shared- small, simple gestures, but to someone else it might mean a whole lot. I didn’t talk to that guy for any particular reason: we were both in the same camp, I was looking for a friend, and I suppose he was just there. Like I said, I have no recollection of this, but to him, it was significant as I was the first female friend (and one of the first friends) he made in church.
To me, one of the most underrated roles is that of the supporting character. It is often he or she that starts the action in the play, while the main character merely experiences the effects of it. Scene: main character walks down the street. Stranger runs up to them to return them their wallet they’d unknowingly dropped some time back. Main character bursts into tears, having narrowly escaped losing the money to buy an engagement ring in the form of a cheque which was stored in his wallet. Scene: main character sneezes and finds himself out of tissue. Stranger hands him handkerchief. Main character wipes nose and is saved from looking like an idiot holding his nose for the entire train ride.
It’s a really important role, if you think about it. The ability to affect the story of someone else’s life. Everything we do matters, even if we don’t realise it. So be kind. Be generous. Know that you live not only as the protagonist but also the random passer-by whose presence rather than character is crucial to the development of an ongoing plot.