A couple of years ago I’d been asked to speak to a group of kids about kindness. They were part of a Kindness Club that met every week during the summer to do “kind things.” They painted rocks with encouraging sayings to leave in public places, made cookies for the local police and firemen, took treats to teachers during their first week back at school, etc. Anyway, I was to speak to them about ways to be kind so I posted a question on Facebook asking people to share with me the ways people had been kind to them. The responses were pretty cool and things we could all do, so I thought I’d share them with you today.
This first one comes from a young lady who used to babysit for our boys (which I suppose doesn’t make her all that young anymore, but she’s still young in my eyes). Patti wrote:
I have many, many stories of people showing me their kindness. The first was the summer after I graduated high school and my friends and I were making our college plans for that fall. That July, I found out that I had Hodgkin’s lymphoma and had to forgo surgery followed by 9 months of chemotherapy. So I had to postpone my college life for a year to be close to Mayo Clinic where I would get my weekly chemo treatments. I was crushed! I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself, stuck in the small town when all my friends went off to college. Well, the people of that town made sure that I felt loved, supported, and prayed for EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Bruce Johnson, the owner of the Red Owl grocery store in town, called and offered me a full time job over the next year, managing the general merchandise section of the store. And my sister (Sue) took a year off from her college education to stay home and work at the nursing home, so I wasn’t sitting home alone. And my parents, well, they were saints every step of the way. It was truly a blessing to have my family and that extended family of Cannon Falls surrounding my family and me throughout those 9 months. When I completed my treatments and was able to FINALLY go off to college, I developed a new attitude of appreciation for the goodness and kindness of people. To this day, I owe those people for what they taught me—how to love your neighbor.
Patti’s sister’s sacrificial love blows me away! I don’t think too many college students would take a yearlong break to stay home with their sister.
The next story comes from a friend of my mom’s. Sally wrote:
I will always remember the kindness of your mom when I first began playing golf at the club. I was still working and did not get a chance to meet other ladies. She invited me to play golf, introduced me around, and nominated me for a position on the board so I would meet others. Go Mom! Everyone appreciates being included. There’s nothing worse than walking into a new church, new school, or new office and not knowing a soul. Just one person saying “hi” and introducing you to others can make a world of difference.
Sometimes you can show kindness with just a nod. Rebecca wrote:
I was 20, sitting in my car at a stoplight, bawling my head off because life was a complete mess and out of control. A horn honked and I looked to my right. The guy in the lane next to me gave me a thumbs-up. I have never forgotten that little gesture and how it gave me hope.
This last one comes from my friend, Missy:
When I was unemployed, at first the being home alone wasn’t too bad. As weeks turned into months, Sunday evenings were awful. Everyone was getting ready for a new workweek but me. My friend would have me over for movies and munchies just to take my mind off of my situation. What an incredibly easy way to be kind! Movies and munchies with a friend? I’m in!
Being kind doesn’t have to be hard. Usually, it just means going a little bit out of your way, or being slightly inconvenienced. There were many more examples that people sent me but these were some of my favorites. Maybe I’ll post some of the others in another blog.
At this time of the year, many people are tired, stressed, or just plain crabby. Your kindness might just be the thing that turns the day around for them. Why not look for something kind to do today?