An agency in the area where I used to live and work hosted a holiday dinner party for a group of people who have fallen upon hard times. There are a lot of such people around these days. It was a great meal. There was fried chicken and rice, potato salad and green salad, two kinds of cake and a bowl of fruit. I was invited because I had recently done a presentation for this group. The person who invited me asked me a religious question: one of the participants is an observant Muslim. Would she be able to partake of the chicken that would be served at this meal? Maybe she would, I said, but to be sure, I would stop by a nearby Mediterranean restaurant that I knew served halal meat (meat which has been prepared in compliance with Muslim dietary laws) and pick up a portion of chicken. This simple act took about fifteen minutes and cost about seven dollars.
All those who participated were grateful for the dinner, but the person for whom I bought the chicken was overwhelmed. She could not stop marveling that her personal religious needs had been taken into consideration. Her gratitude caused me to think about how very little out of the way we need to go to make someone else's day. It makes me want to do it more often.