Friday, July 8, 2016

Simple Kindness

You hear it all the time. Be kind to others. You never know the impact you might have. You might make the day of someone who is having a hard time. I think most of us do try to be kind with a thank you here and smile there. Recently, I've gotten feedback to know that some very simple gestures really did make a difference.

The first was when Ward was in the hospital and I was walking around outside. A crossing guard stopped the traffic and to let me cross a street. I smiled and said thank you as I crossed, and he replied, "Thank you for that and your smile. You have just made my day." I don't know if he usually doesn't get any response or he was having a bad day, but he was genuinely appreciative of that very simple gesture. (BTW, Ward's doing great. He's recovering well.)

Aldi's carts waiting for their quarter.
Next was when I was loading my car after a shopping trip in Aldi. A woman carrying a squirming toddler came up and asked if I had a quarter. (You have to "rent" the carts for a quarter.) I told her that she could have my cart after I emptied it. And then I asked her if she needed some bags. (No bagging in Aldi.) And she said yes. I gave her a couple of bags from my car. She was extremely appreciative and so was the toddler because he now got to ride in a cart. People share their carts at Aldi all the time, but today it especially made this mother's day.

The next example was when I last visited my mother. We were in the dining room waiting for lunch. My sister and I were taking a couple of pictures of my mother when we noticed another resident watching us intently. We asked her and her son, who was with her, if they would like their picture taken. He said it was alright. His mother, who was pretty much nonverbal, just smiled. So we took a few pictures of them because she seemed to be enjoying it. When I got the pictures developed, I mailed them to my mother and included one of the mother and son to be passed on. When the son got the picture, he immediately took it to his truck so he wouldn't lose it. It turns out that it was the only picture he had ever had with him and his mother. He was very touched. You see, this son is there every day to feed his mother all of her meals. He shows such dedication and he's never had a picture with her. He was truly appreciative.

These are all examples of such simple things. I didn't go out of my way to do anything special, just normal things that all of us would do. But being kind really made a difference. So I'm gonna try to be kind all of the time even when I'm in a bad mood. All I have to do is remember the look on the mother and son's face and I think I will have motivation enough.

(Wish I could show you pictures of the other people, but I have to respect their privacy.)