Wednesday, October 16, 2013

K is for...








 is for Kindness

My husband tells me that I have a kind heart. I’m generous and I love to help people. Throughout the year I am always remembering birthdays and sending out cards and gifts to all of my loved ones.
On Christmas, whether I get anything or not, I go crazy sending all of my family something even if it means baking cookies all day to ship to friends and relatives.
After listening to Dr. Chuck Wall, The originator of “Random Acts of Kindness” , I was determined to make a strangers day.
I set out one Sunday determined to make someone’s day. No matter how hard  I tried I could not find anyone that I could just help.
Some guy was sitting in Starbucks with nothing to drink. I offered to buy him a coffee… he refused it.
I went to the grocery store and offered to buy someone’s groceries… they refused.
I wonder what was going on.  Here I was with a “Tell me what you need and I will give it to you” sign on my forehead and there was no one who wanted anything from me. That was a first. I was actually pretty confused and saddened by it.
It seemed that everyone was suspicious of a stranger offering help. I was so troubled by this so much so, that it sort of ruined part of my day.
I came home defeated.

Eventually I got over it and I decided that I would just try again the next day and the next day trying to help as many people as I could.
As I sat on the couch talking to my 13-year-old, she mentioned that her science teacher’s wife just had a baby 3 weeks ago. The baby however, was still in the hospital because the doctors discovered the baby was born with some kind of illness.  It made her sad because this is one of her favorite teachers and she said she could tell that he was having a hard time at work. It made me sad to think about. I don’t know what I would have done or how I would have felt if the same thing happened to one of my babies.
And then it hit me.
That evening I went to target, bought an encouragement card and went for the baby. I made sure that I bought the baby clothes he could grow into letting her teacher know that I had faith the baby would make it home and soon would be wearing those clothes.  I put everything in a gift bag and gave it to my daughter to give to her teacher. She was so elated to give him the gift. But, before I gave her the gift, I remembered to tuck in one of Dr. Wall’s coins in hopes that he would pay it forward.
The next day she came home telling me how much her teacher enjoyed the gift. She said he was extremely grateful. It made her feel good, it made me feel so good, and apparently it made him feel good as well.  
It made me feel great having the opportunity to make someone’s day and teach my daughter about kindness in the process, not that she needed much coaching. She is one of the sweetest kids I know.
Now that I have a new recruit helping me with my kindness mission, we have the opportunity to help so many people.
So many people to help, so little time!






2 comments:

  1. That's a wonderful thing you did! Especially the care you took to imply a faith that the baby will come home, will grow, will live a long and happy life.

    As for the difficulty helping people...we live in a culture of fear and paranoia. I include myself in that assessment. Nothing is free. There's always an ulterior motive. I'd probably reject those kinds of offers as well...that little voice in the back of my head telling me there had to be a catch. (I'm a suspicious sort apparently).

    I will say this though, in case you're wanting to make further overtures, it's easier to give something to someone if you don't ask permission. My brother's had someone buy him coffee in the drive-through at Starbucks...the car in front of him just asked to pay the bill for the car behind. I've read of people going in to stores with lay-away before Christmas and paying down on other people's bills. Etc.

    Just some thoughts.

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  2. I think that Anna is right on. People tend to be suspicious (I can't say it any better than she did). The anonymous trick works best. I remember coming from a children's Christmas party one time, driving past a man with a sign asking for money or food. When I was driving through a fast food place for a diet coke, I impetuously added a meal. I drove back to the spot where I saw the man, and he was walking away. Because of one-way streets, it took some effort to catch up with him. I stopped ahead of him, got out and held out the bag of food. He snatched it out of my hands with nary a look at me and kept right on walking. I think he was unnerved by me being out of my car.

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