I laughed really hard with a complete stranger in the grocery store line the other day. The cashier tried to run some of his items through on my bill. The man behind me stopped her, then jokingly said, “Unless you WANT to pay for them, of course?” I wanted to. It would have been super nice. Can you imagine if the person in front of you just randomly paid for your groceries? I mean, we get excited about the Starbucks chain paying…
I told him I’d gladly pay, if I had more money. As it is, paying with my debit card is like playing Russian Roulette these days. When it cleared, he joked, “You won!”
The cashier just looked at both of us like we’d completely lost our minds. Maybe we had.
The interaction really got me thinking about kindness and how I wish I COULD do something extreme, like paying for groceries for the person behind me in line.
Kindness is something this world can never have enough. Kindness is catching, and kindness can change you.
One of the best books I read a few years ago was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This book is chock full of important life lessons, the impact of kindness (as well as the impact of cruelty) are huge themes throughout. I was especially touched by something one of the housemaid’s would repeat each day to the baby she cared for. “You is smart, you is kind, you is beautiful.” This woman, who watched the mother act terribly toward her children and others, knew the importance of not only being kind, but teaching it to this innocent young child. I have repeated this phrase to my own daughters, and myself, over the last few years.
“You is smart, you is kind, you is beautiful.”
There are many ways to be kind and to show kindness. It might be paying for something for someone. It might be lifting someone up with a kind word or gesture. Maybe it’s something bigger, like helping someone rebuild a home, making dinner for a new mama, or sending care packages to a grieving family. Those random, unplanned acts of kindness can change someone’s day, and in some cases, change their lives.
Feb 14-20, 2016 is Random Acts of Kindness week.
Some interesting acts about kindness.
Did you know being kind can reduce pain, anxiety, and stress? Isn’t that crazy? And yet, it’s not. Kindness can change the world.
10 of 50 ideas (find the rest at the Random Acts of Kindness website)
50 FUN RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS WEEK IDEAS:
1. Pay it Backward: buy coffee for the person behind you in line.
2. Compliment the first three people you talk to today.
3. Send a positive text message to five different people right now.
4. Post inspirational sticky notes around your neighborhood, office, school, etc.
5. Tell someone they dropped a dollar (even though they didn’t). Then give them a dollar.
6. Donate old towels or blankets to an animal shelter.
7. Say hi to the person next to you on the elevator.
8. Surprise a neighbor with freshly baked cookies or treats!
9. Let someone go in front of you in line who only has a few items.
10. Leave a gas gift card at a gas pump.
I love this idea:
19. Place a positive body image notes in jean pockets at a department store.
GIVING TO THOSE WHO NEED IT.
You know what else is wonderful? GIVING. I am really happy to share this podcast interview that I did with my friend Jennifer, author of Simple Giving: Easy Ways to Give Every Day. You can see the show notes and more info here.