Friday, November 22, 2013

Surprised by Kindness

I was in a conversation recently where the idea of paying for the car behind you in a drive thru came up - and it was a new idea to some people.  Which kind of shocked me!  That specific version of paying it forward or random acts of kindness has even made the news so I was shocked that someone found it to be a new idea.

So it got me thinking - maybe there are other kind gestures people do that others simply hadn't thought of and maybe making a list of some of those things would be a cool thing to blog about.

So I went to my social network and asked people for input.  Tell me your favorite acts of kindness, compassion, charitable care and giving.  I assumed I'd get a list of - pay for the car behind me, leave flowers with a cashier and ask that they give a flower to anyone who seems to need it, leave a dollar on the vending machine, and so on. 

Instead, I got a bigger lesson than that.

People shared stories of seeing a need or having a need and it being met by friends, family, and even strangers.  Stopping to help an emergency situation.  Paying for the car behind you - but from the perspective of a manager of a fast food restaurant and her sharing the joyful impact it has on her employees. A single mom who struggled and had people reach out to offer aid.  Paying for someone's train ride when they realized they didn't have their ticket.

But every message I read had the same theme.

I had a need and someone saw it and filled it.

I saw a need and found a way to fill it.

So I thought I was going to come up with a list of 20 ways to show kindness.

Instead, I got some valuable inspiration on awareness and compassion.

Keep your eyes and heart open.  When you become aware of a need... when you see a place where you can help... when you are aware of an opportunity to make life better for someone (even if it's just buying their lunch or giving them a big smile)...

Do it.  We each have such individual power.  We don't need permission to be compassionate.  And if you do need permission - I'm giving it to you.  Step out of your comfort zone this holiday season.  Challenge yourself.  Don't just toss some money at a problem.  Put your heart out there.

Open your heart.  Open your mind.  Open your eyes.

Need is all around you.

And even the smallest gesture of kindness can have a big impact.



msprimadonna67 said...

Such a beautiful reminder, especially at this time of year.

Mrs4444 said...

Having awareness of others requires us to look outside ourselves, of course. Even people with big troubles find reward in this. Great advice.