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A young man walked up to me outside the post office recently and said, “You’re Mr. Weiss, right?”

“I am.”

“You probably don’t remember me, but I came to your house a few years ago after a storm to ask if you needed your steps and paths shoveled.”

“I do remember! You were the only person who’s ever done that. Our plower’s truck had broken down.”

“You asked how much I’d charge and I told you to just give me what you thought was fair. You paid me a very generous amount.”

“Well, you were worth it. I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you here.”

“That’s understandable. I just wanted to tell you that you helped me through a rough time, but I’m now finishing junior college and heading for the university.”

“Thanks for letting me know, I wish you all the best!”

“And to you.”

That conversation was worth any award on my shelf, and it sensitized me still further that you don’t need grand gestures to make a difference. It wasn’t about any generosity on my part, it was about the hard work and appreciation on his part.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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