The other day a woman related a story to me about how her mother had viciously berated her since she was a child. And how one day it was happening in an elevator - in front of others. When the door opened on their floor the mother bolted out but just as SHE started to go.. 1/— Ed Solomon (@ed_solomon) January 29, 2018
Ed Solomon, a writer and producer, shared a series of tweets that stopped internet users in their tracks. This week, he described just how much of a difference saying a few kind words to a stranger can make using a hard-hitting example of emotional abuse between a mother and daughter. The story he'd heard just a few days prior made him think about how impactful being nice to others can be, and frankly, it's definitely worth reflecting on.
.. a stranger - a random person who happened to be there - whispered, “Hey.” And the (then 11 yr old) girl turned back. The stranger said: “It’s not you. It’s her.” And then the elevator door closed. Why do I bring this up? 2/— Ed Solomon (@ed_solomon) January 29, 2018
Because the (now 53 year old) woman told me that at times when life gets really dark, when she hears her (inner) mother’s voice telling that she’s shit, she can’t do it, or to just plain give up.. she then sees that stranger’s face as the door closes in front of her. Nodding. 3/— Ed Solomon (@ed_solomon) January 29, 2018
Sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps her going. The point? If you have a nice thing to say - a word of encouragement, a compliment - even if it’s to a passing stranger.. Don’t hold onto it. Cause you just never know where and when it will land. 4/4— Ed Solomon (@ed_solomon) January 29, 2018
As you can imagine, the Twitter thread has gone completely viral, amassing 2,800 retweets and more than 6,600 favorites. After realizing how much popularity his original thread garnered, Ed followed up with a gentle reminder about how important everyday interactions with strangers can be:
It's the replies to this that've blown me away. We THINK power only comes from being in a lofty "position." And that's a KIND of power, for sure. But the REAL power is in our every day, moment-to-moment interactions with people. We ALL have incredible power. It's kind of amazing. https://t.co/mPPEfGxgkE— Ed Solomon (@ed_solomon) January 30, 2018
So the next time you're caught in the middle of a situation where you can make a difference, speak up. Sometimes a few kind words from a stranger can make a difference in even the grand scheme of life, whether the person who said them remembers them years after or not.