I have always been a firm believer in treating others as kindly as possible. I’m astounded by the fact that a lot of people would handle a ladybug with more care than they’d handle another person’s feelings.
I remember a few years ago I had read a lady’s story (online) about a disease she’d been diagnosed with. She was, understandably, extremely shaken and searching for answers, comfort, help – anything she could find. Her story left me feeling overwhelmed with sadness and, like most of us do when we feel that way, I wanted to get up from my chair and go somewhere, just anywhere – kitchen, living room, bedroom.. didn’t matter. You know how it is, when we see sadness, we just want to get away from it.
But I decided to find her e-mail and send her a message instead. I told her that at any given time of day or night, somewhere in the world a miracle is happening. I offered what clumsy words I could think of and ended with a promise to pray for her. After my name I wrote, “Remember: Somewhere a miracle is happening!”
I got an e-mail back from her that said how much the e-mail meant to her. I had assumed that my e-mail would have gotten lost in a pile of e-mails, but it was, in fact, the only one she received.
She also said she’d written “Remember: Somwhere a miracle is happening!” on the front of her journal, on index cards, and even on a piece of paper she’d placed on the refrigerator door.
I was blown clean away. What I thought was a message that would be read and forgotten had actually touched someone. It left me thankful that I’d done the right thing but it also left me frustrated. I couldn’t help wondering how many opportunities I’d missed. How many other people could I have clumsily found the right words for if I’d been paying more attention or had gotten involved when my laid back nature said, “Someone else will..”
Kindness gives birth to kindness. – God’s Little Instruction Book
A few days ago, I witnessed a really cool act of kindness. My youngest daughter, Stephany, and I were in Kroger (our favorite grocery store), along with everyone else in the county. Every register was open, yet lines were backed up two forevers. In the lane to our left, a woman in line was on the phone, apparently flustered with the time it was taking her to get to where she wanted to go. An older man came up behind her and she turned to look at his cart. He had, I’d guess, only about 5 things less than she did in her cart – but she told the person on the phone, “Hang on a sec, okay?,” and then she told the man he could go in front of her because she had “..a lot more than him.”
While that was a very cool thing for her to do, what really stood out to me was the fact that her demeanor changed immediately. As soon as she let this gentleman go in front of her, her face softened, her voice calmed, and she seemed to be a different person. She even laughed at something the person on the other end of the phone said. That person was obviously so pleased with the transformation that they were cracking jokes!
It’s amazing how doing something kind makes us feel so warm and happy. It’s an instant high. And one we never have to come down from, as long as we keep on spreading the kindness!
Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. – God’s Little Instruction Book
Last night, I was on the recieving end of kind words – words that didn’t have to be spoken or written. If you have your own blog, you know how discouraging it can be, sometimes. You pour out your heart and work incredibly hard – but you don’t always know that it’s reaching anyone. Except for a few certain types of blogs, most people don’t leave comments. Several of my own are, in fact, mainly read in rss readers – which is why I allow a full text to go to the reader. However, it means very few comments. As I’ve said before, I get more e-mails than I do comments.
Usually that’s just fine, but every now and then I have a weak moment. Last night, at just the right time, I got an e-mail from someone who complimented my site and told me how much it meant to her. She said that, in her profession, she helped people. She referred to Self Help Daily as a way she could “fill” herself and, apparently in turn, help others.
It meant so much to me that I just sat quietly for a minute.
You, literally, just never know what a few kind words will mean to another person. Your words could replace a tear in their eye with a smile on their face. You could make them laugh out loud and treat them to a sound they hadn’t heard in a while – the sound of their own laughter. You could give them that special spark they needed to keep going when they weren’t sure they could. Your words could be the very thing they needed at that moment.
Put another way: They could mean the world.
* The adorable poster below says, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” That’s by Aesop and I thought it was just too perfect not to share.
Besides the penguins make me smile.
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