Thank you to “Two Cannoli” for taking this great picture (The bluebonnets have particular meaning as they are wild here in Austin, Texas!) and for understanding that it only takes a second to notice an act of kindness done to you….or be aware of when an act of kindness can be offered to another.
That means we have all the time in the world to offer and receive acts of kindness. Do you think the world would be a different place if we committed not only to doing something that scares us every day, but also to notice when kindness has been offered to us and openly appreciate it, as well as be aware of when we can offer a simple act of kindness to another.
Sometimes the best are when you are least expecting it, or those secret ones where you will never know who the agent of kindness was!
Each of us knows how it feels to receive an act of kindness. It could be as simple as someone letting you onto a crowded road, a smile passing on the street, or going the extra step to offer service above and beyond what is expected. Over the past few days I have been the recipient as well as the giver of acts of kindness. I am particularly aware of them as a grand leap was taken last week by quitting a job and choosing instead to immerse myself in my own business. A somewhat stressful time yes, but because of this giving and receiving of kindness I am particularly aware of how very blessed I am! That has taken my attention!
The day after I quit my job I took myself to the nearest office supply store in order to get a new business calendar (no I don’t have a smart phone etc – I actually do it the “old fashioned way”) to plan and vision on. This store is a chain store and often times you don’t expect the type of service you might find in a smaller privately owned establishment. However, within the space of the 10 minutes I was in there I was asked by 3 people whether they could help me find what I was looking for and smiles were exchanged each time. The crowning glory was the check out woman who first apologized for my having to wait for a minute or so and then while she was checking out my purchases we exchanged a very personal and loving dialog.
Her smile was huge as she said to me, “it is good to see you back again. I just saw you 2 days ago right?” and when I said no she told me “you have the kind of face everyone wants to remember!” As I shared with her that I had just quit a job the day before and was heading into being my own boss, she gave me a high 5 and said “don’t give up!” A few more comments were exchanged and then it was time for me to leave the register. I looked in her eyes and thanked her for her attention, service and kindness and we both felt the love exchanged between two complete strangers.
Then yesterday it was my turn. I was doing my regular lap swimming and no one else was in my lane. Near the end of my time in the pool I looked up and there was a father with his young daughter about age 8 or so. I asked if she wanted to share the lane with me. At first hesitant she jumped in at her father’s urging. I watched her swim beside me and noted that she was an amazing swimmer for her age. When I got back to the end of the lane they had changed to an open lane so that the father could be beside her. As her father jumped in I called out “your daughter is a great swimmer”! He didn’t hear me, but she did as she kick boarded her way down the adjoining lane. The smile and thank you she gave me were brilliant!
Today it was time to receive and give as I was given service above and beyond the norm when a computer at the local Fed Ex store would not print my documents. Then I was able to give a simple act of kindness by stopping by a local herb/vitamin pharmacy to purchase some natural products for a very dear friend who has poison ivy creeping all over her body and drop them off at her house.
Though this has been an incredibly challenging post trauma growth period for me over the last week these simple acts of kindness given and received have reminded me that this is what life is about. Our connection with others is always there. We always have the choice to expand our awareness outwardly in a way that says “I care” and “I appreciate you”! The opportunities are limitless!
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