EPMEPM: First Person

The ‘Gabby Effect’

Fiona Blayney had her hands full when a moment of stress led to a domestic mishap. Saved by the kindness of a stranger, she points out how everything we do impacts on other people – and why we should all pay kindness forward.

I had a knock on the door this week. Turns out it was a pretty important knock on the door; just the thought of the drama that would have ensued if that knock had not occurred sends chills. Let me paint you the picture.

It was Saturday lunchtime; I had just returned home from the shops. It was my youngest daughter’s second  birthday the next day and I had been frantically preparing for the Wiggles Party of the century. With two children under four, the three-year-old unable to walk due to a full leg cast (altercation with a trampoline), the need to buy groceries for 40 people with the only receptacle for said groceries being the pram, doubling up as a wheelchair and trolley, and a two-year- old whose energy levels were reflective of someone who thought the entire Wiggles crew were heading to our house the next day… Let’s just say I was that woman, you know:  the one that as a mother you look over at and give that knowing ‘It’s going to be okay’ look to.

So you’ll also perhaps appreciate that I forgot all normal process and, after paying the check-out operator, I placed my wallet in the easiest place rather than its normal safe spot. I just wanted to get the hell out of there.

Finally at the car, loaded up, off we went and headed back to the safe zone – home. Calm would soon be restored.

Turns out the easiest place wasn’t the best place. That knock at the door was my guardian angel named Gabby, who found my wallet on the car park floor! Instead of fleecing it of its cash and tossing it in the bin, or leaving it with centre management on the hope that it would find its way back, Gabby decided to take matters into her own hands and deliver my wallet direct to me.

After what had been the most intense month of my entire business life (we’ve just rebranded and expanded, in case you didn’t notice), and things being just as eventful on the personal front (throw a house move and renovation on top of all of this), I was reminded yet again of how amazing people can be. How we each have the ability to make the most amazing impact on someone’s day, from a small thing like returning a wallet, to letting a stranger in front in the traffic, right through to the incredible round-the-clock support I have had from my rebrand crew. Life is all about People.

Really, everything you do, everything you touch, every conversation, every moment, everything, it’s about people. Your every move impacts someone, somewhere, somehow. Every moment of your day is an addition to the development of a life.

The impact you have can be local, or far-reaching. It can be monumental or minuscule. It can determine a future or determine a moment in time. It can make someone smile, it can make someone sad. But no matter what, it will impact on some level.

Gabby will probably never know the impact that she really had on my life on Saturday. She has no idea what led to that wallet being found, or the real value of the time she saved me by her selfless act.

But I seem to have been surrounded by ‘Gabbys’ lately. So now I’m pushing for the ‘Gabby Effect’ to go further. How can we all bring a bit of Gabby to each other’s lives? This month I’m working hard on paying it forward. It doesn’t have to be a full-on rescue but I encourage you to think about what your next random act of kindness might be.

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Fiona Blayney

Fiona Blayney is the founder and director of Real+, an industry first Property Management learning platform. For more info visit realplusonline.com.au.