The late college basketball coach Jimmy Valvano once said “To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”
This came from a man that was facing terminal cancer, and he died shortly after saying those words. Luckily, he didn’t go in vain as his friends and family created the V Foundation, which has provided over $100 million to fund cancer research. But his words have always rung true to me, as there’s no doubt the more we laugh, the more we think and the more we cry (from joy or otherwise), the happier we will become. We will start to see what other opportunities are available and what we can do next with our life that matches our personality and desires. It’s a brain cleanser, unlike any vacation or television or whatever can provide, because it builds on itself. Over time, it improves your life.
With that in mind, I’m going to start posting content regularly that’s simply there to either make you laugh, think or cry. Hopefully, some will hit multiple marks. And they’re really just that simple. There won’t be commentary or my thoughts. Just an outline of what’s going on. Feel free to get as much or as little from the post as you need.
Today’s post is from a question that went up on Quora, where someone asked “What’s the Nicest Thing Someone Has Ever Done For You.” There were some amazing responses, many that can make you think (and possibly cry). Here were two that I found.
1. Joey Frey
I was on a train in Switzerland. The train came to a stop, and the conductor’s voice came over the loudspeaker and delivered a message in German, then Italian, then French. I had made the mistake of not learning any of those languages before my vacation. Everyone started getting off the train, and an old woman saw I was confused and stressed (I had to catch an overnight train to Rome, and I was flying home from there). She spoke some English, and she told me that an accident had happened on the tracks. She asked me where I was trying to get to, then went and talked to some workers, and came back to tell me that we’d have to hop trains 3 or 4 times to get there. I was really glad she was headed the same way, because it would have been hopeless for me to figure it out on my own. So we went from one train station to the next, getting to know each other along the way. She was really the sweetest woman. It was a 2.5 hour journey in total, and when we finally made it to the destination, we got off and said our goodbyes. I had made it just in time to catch my train to Rome, and she told me she had a train to catch, too. I asked her how much farther she had to go, and it turns out her home was 2 hours back the other way. She had jumped from train to train and traveled the whole way just to make sure I made it. I was in shock but I managed to blurt out, pathetically, “you are the nicest person I’ve ever met”. She smiled gently and hugged me and told me I’d better hurry off so I make it home. She seemed unreal. I was really convinced I was saying goodbye to an angel. I’m not a very emotional dude, but I cried my face off that night (dammit, I’m doing it now, too). A woman spent her entire day sitting on trains taking her hours away from her home just to help out a confused tourist visiting her country. No matter how many countries I visit or sites I see, I’ll always say the most beautiful country in the world is Switzerland.
My dad drove from Houston to Atlanta in 2000 while I was having a tough semester at Georgia Tech. I was contemplating leaving school. I had given up my dream of being a music producer to focus on school. I was down right miserable.
When he arrived, he didn’t rip me a new one. He didn’t give me a generic pep talk. He listened to me. He just listened. He knew I wasn’t a quitter. We met with a school counselor, developed a plan and decided to stick it out. I graduated with my Electrical Engineering degree two years later. My dad passed away the next year in 2003, but he got a chance to see me graduate. I have to stop writing this… Too emotional. I miss you daddy.