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It was a bright, sunny day here in California. I’d just purchased some items at the drugstore and was walking toward my car when I saw a young man with a bucket, soliciting donations from the holiday shoppers. I fiddled to get a bill out of my pocket to give to him. It must have been the Christmas spirit in me, but for some reason, I felt like I wanted to make this kid feel good.

I greeted him and said, “It’s good you are out here helping a good cause!” Daryl (I could read his name on his shirt) responded with a big smile.

“Would you believe people think I am young?” he said. “And they say older people are usually the ones collecting donations.” I smiled, thinking that was a bit odd, but cute. I chuckled to myself, as I am an older person.

In that moment, I sensed Daryl needed some sort of affirmation, and I looked directly at him. “Yes, it is a good thing you look young,” I said, to which he flashed me a huge smile with gorgeous teeth. He almost looked exhilarated.

As I write this, that transaction was about four hours ago. You can see he made my day. I want to share this experience with you as the holidays are upon us. Somewhere deep
in my heart, I felt a warm feeling as this young man clearly felt appreciated. So, while you are out mingling among the Daryls of the world, remember to give what you can — and share your appreciation from within. I have been a psychologist for over twenty-five years, and I know expressing gratitude contributes to good feelings for the receiver and the giver.