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What Can I Do?

While I typically like to tell humorous, identifiable stories (usually about myself and my life), lately I’ve felt reflective, trying to figure out how I can make small changes in my life that will have a positive impact on others; things we often call “random acts of kindness,” done without much thought and unsolicited – but usually appreciated -- by the recipient.

This piece is something I developed based on observing a number of kind, humble people going about their everyday lives doing small things for others. I’ve crafted it into a single voice, written from a first-person point of view, and it basically says, “Maybe I can brighten your day, and maybe not. But why not give it a try?”



What can I do to make you smile? What will brighten your spirit? Lighten your load? What will turn your day around?

A joke? A hug? Maybe just someone to sit quietly with you and say or do nothing. Is that what you need?

None of these simple acts will change your life or reverse what’s getting to you: a bad job, a difficult relationship, sickness or just another in a long line of tough days.

No, I can’t change any of that that, and truthfully, that’s not my right.

Because right now, you’re not asking me to fix anything. You just need a break, or a bright spot in your day. Or to know someone cares.

So maybe, just maybe, I can make you smile. Or take away a little of the hurt, or the sadness or the tension you’re feeling … for just a little while.

Maybe I can be a small light in a dark day, or a beacon in the distance that provides a ray of hope. Maybe I can give you a little boost, lifting you up for just a moment or two.

And maybe, just maybe, that helping hand, that listening ear, that wave “hello” from across the street as we pass one another …

… or that simple smile could be the one thing that helps you get through this moment and prepare for the next.


And even if it’s only maybe, why wouldn’t I give you that friendly smile, that listening ear or that wave from across the street?

Maybe it won’t matter to you. Maybe you won’t even notice it or appreciate it.

But maybe, just maybe, it will. And if it can, and if that’s what you need today, at this moment, then I’ll ask again …

… What can I do to make you smile?

© 2023 David R. Haznaw

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