Wouldn’t it be a much brighter and better world if we all practiced a little bit of kindness – more often? I am going to try to do my part, and try to be kind more often! Can we really change the world by doing this? If you are a pessimist or a realist, you may be saying, “No, probably not.” But if you are an optimist, you are probably nodding your head right now saying, “YES! We can change the world by being a little nicer, a little nicer … one person at a time.” SO, how about it? Let’s make the world a little brighter, just in our little spot of the world. Kindness can be contagious!
I mean, I just don’t think we should take kindness or kind gestures for granted. Sometimes just a kind word or a gesture at the appropriate time can make all the difference in a person’s life.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” (Aesop)
I have often received unexplained and unanticipated kind gestures at just the right moment in my life …. soon after the death of my parents. Or sometimes after receiving difficult news over the phone. Or after receiving an e-mail telling you a friend is in the hospital. And… all of a sudden something wonderful happens.
And these acts of kindness can be very simple things – someone gives you a warm, sincere handshake, someone sends you a “thinking of you, dear friend” card or you get a hilarious e-mail that makes you almost fall off your chair! I can think of a few memorable things right off the top of my head:
- One of my dear friends, Andrea, sent me a Mother’s Day card the first year after I lost my mom. (Simple gesture + very meaningful = very touched Clare).
- Another close friend, Pam, brought me flowers on the two year anniversary of my Mom’s death. (And I certainly love flowers).
- I’ll never forget a dear friend brought my Dad a pizza in the hospital…. I didn’t know at that point, he would never come home again – but she sensed it. As she said goodbye to my Dad, she walked away with tears in her eyes.
- Christine’s wedding … when we put together my oldest daughter, Christine’s, wedding in 6 – 8 weeks! Yikes – Our friends collectively created and assembled some beautiful “beachy” themed decorations for the reception. (You ask what I DID in all this – I provided pizza because goodness knows I am the least crafty person you know)!
Why am I bringing up “kindness”, you say? Because I believe it’s a simple “choice” we can make every day with anyone and everyone who crosses our path. Whether it’s in person, a neighbor, the clerk in the store or a family member. And it can be through an in-person conversation, over the phone, through email or with a text message.
The Bible tells us: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” Proverbs 3:27 (NIV)
We often miss the opportunity to do something nice, and I am the worst offender. Embarrassingly, I can think of numerous times years ago dragging toddlers through a checkout line at the grocery store, after the drudgery of working a job I wasn’t fond of, only to take out my bad mood on the checkout girl. I mean, really? She’s probably only making minimum wage. Does she look like she needs this in her life? (She’s probably barely able to pay her own bills or maybe she is in college, too).
We are just imperfect humans, but we could all probably put in a little extra effort each day to give a kind word to someone in need, make eye contact with the store clerk and smile or end a telephone conversation with a positive comment. I have one friend who sent a “reoccurring appointment” to her co-workers that said, “Smile, and have a great day!” This was their little secret reminder to do something unexpected and nice for someone that week.
“What is desired in a man is kindness, and a poor man is better than a liar.” (Proverbs 19:22) NKIV
I have lately tried to remember to go the extra step to be nice, or at least NOT BE UNKIND. My desire is to go the distance, make a conscious effort in being kind.
So, friends … My challenge to you is to do one little random act of kindness each week and make shall steps to be a little kinder, a little nicer, and create your own little ray of sunshine each and every day.
Looking forward to a little more sunshine in our world.