Today I received an email from a girl I've been friends with for a long time. I don't talk to her a lot anymore but I try to see her whenever we're both home and I have always liked her a lot. I know that in high school she struggled a lot as a lesbian in a conservative Christian family. She did not come out until college but anyway... in the email she recounted two different times where I made a difference in her life. One in elementary school when I waited with her during lunch while her dad was running late and another when I made a joke about a homophobic friend that had made a rude remark (I said something along the lines of "boy will she be pissed if all of her friends turn out gay"). Two small instances that did not leave an impression on me but were huge for someone else. She said that my joke in high school made her believe that she could survive until college. That feels pretty huge.
My point in sharing this is not to gloat but to remind you guys how important loving each other is. You never know how important kind words may be to someone on a bad day and who knows... you may receive an email15 years later thanking you. Always choose kindness.