Yesterday I held the door for a young man as we exited our local YMCA. He was right behind me as I went out into the chilly outside from the comfortable warmth of the building. I held the door for him. He hurried forward and said, “Oh, thank you so much.” Nothing unusual in those words of courtesy, what was unusual, however, was in the manner it was said. There was a certain intonation in those words, a certain dip in his head, a certain respectful smile that caught my attention. As I walked to my car, my heart felt happy at my simple gesture and the kind reciprocation of a fellow human. We often say “thank you” to strangers without meaning it. This man meant his “thank you.”
Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights has left a mark on me. This was my delight yesterday – a few meaningful words from a complete stranger.