What’s the Nicest Thing Anyone Ever Did for You?

What’s the Nicest Thing Anyone Ever Did for You?

Do you ever notice how the “nicest thing” isn’t necessarily the biggest thing? How, then, can it touch you so profoundly and leave such an indelible mark on your heart?

I was twenty and my brother seventeen in the summer of 1979. The day before, I had returned from a shopping trip thrilled with my “find” of two unfinished wooden milk crates. I had purchased them to hold my record albums and simultaneously to create shelves for my speakers in my room at university. My plan was to sand them and apply a light stain. The fellow I was dating at the time laughed at me as he saw me pulling them out of the trunk.  That was ok, because the next day our summer romance came to an end.

That evening in the waning late-summer light I was sitting on the back steps with pieces of sandpaper and the milk crates on the steps beside me. My brother saw me through the window and came outside. Now at that time, my brother was not one for working with his hands but he sat on the steps, picked up a piece of sandpaper and a crate and started sanding. He didn’t say a word. In fact, I don’t recall any conversation at all. He just sat there with me, sanding the other crate. His presence said all that needed to be said.

Many special things have happened in my life since, but his caring gesture on that quiet evening touches me still.

What was the nicest thing anyone ever did for you?

Photo credit: Neil’s Photography

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About The Author


I am passionate about writing and community building. I’ve written a book about healing and happiness, The Happy Place, as well as a Community Building book, Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age, now available at any Amazon store. I’ve been through life changes that I thought were the end of my world, but I’m still here. I never know what will happen next. Isn’t that what makes life interesting?