Recently a story was brought to my attention about the legendary University of North Carolina coach Dean Smith. Coach Smith passed away this past February, but his legacy did not end there. Smith was known for his memory of his players and the compassion he had towards them. He proved that in one final act. This past week he sent each of his former letter winning players a check for $200. That is a total of approximately 180 players over a span of his 36 seasons with the school. His final wish to his players was to simply enjoy a dinner out on Coach Smith.
To me, that was just such a cool story. The fact that a coach would take the time to show one final act of appreciation to the talent he had on his team (his players included Michael Jordan and many others). Although I'm sure Coach Smith's intention was not to get media attention, one of his players posted it on social media, and well it went viral. When interviewed, many said they were shocked to receive such a gift. Many went on to say that it didn't feel right spending the money on themselves, but they wanted to spread the coach's legacy to the less fortunate, so they would be donating the check.
Even in death, Coach Smith thought about the players that made such an impact on his life. Even though it is not so little when added up, (it was about $36,000), it still is something that many can learn a lesson from. Showing your appreciation to someone, even if it is just a simple thank you can really go a long way. Think about how you feel when somebody acknowledges your efforts, it really makes you feel important. Don't you want to make other people feel that way?
So I challenge everyone, to say thank you today. Say it to anyone, your professors, the custodian in your building, your friends, let them know they are appreciated. You really don't know how it can turn their day around, and your one act could spread, just like Coach Smith's gift is now spreading to charities. There are so many ways you can do this: hold a door open, write a note, smile at someone, even pay for the coffee in line behind you. The possibilities are endless.