I love the saying, “In a world where you can be anything, be Kind”. I don’t practice acts of kindness looking for something in return, but kindness often comes back to you when given to others.
Doing good for other people, does actually make me feel good about myself. There are countless ways to show kindness to others. Something as small as holding the door for someone or as big as babysitting for a friend when she’s stressed and overwhelmed, or raking the leaves for your senior neighbor, it’s all admirable. I used to live next to a very sweet, older couple that seemed to struggle getting around at times. My son would often take out their trash and return the can to the house and I often brought them homemade dinners or desserts. I loved the look on their face. They really appreciated the kindness and it truly made my heart smile.
Sometimes I will pay for the person behind me in the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru. It makes me happy that I surprised someone and possibly made their day. I try to be aware that everyone has their own issues and stressors in their lives. You never know the heavy load someone else is carrying around every day. So if I can brighten someone’s day, why not!? In the scheme of things what’s another $3.50 or even $10 here and there. I’ve wasted much more, for much less.
So today was one of those days. I was waiting in a very long line. You know the kind that enters from two different driveways, at Dunkin’ Donuts. Each side typically allows the other to take turns as you approach the order speaker. (Believe it or not, some people do not know how to take turns. That’s mind-boggling to me. Are you in that much of a hurry, buddy, that you cut in front of the car that’s not as quick to move forward?! That 2 minutes will, I’m sure, make or break your timeline.) I am always aware of the other line and naturally would allow someone in front of me if there was any doubt who was there first. As I approached the bend in the driveway, I looked over at the other car to see if they were pulling ahead. It was an older couple that didn’t seem to be in a hurry and they graciously motioned for me to go ahead of them. Right away I thought, “I’ll buy their coffees.” Whenever I’ve done this in the past, I try to pull out quickly, as I feel like it’s nicer to do something kind without any thank you in return. Today the traffic was heavy so they were right behind me each waving their arms excitedly out their windows with big smiles. Turns out the ‘thank you’ is pretty nice after all. I couldn’t help but smile the whole way home. Total strangers smiled and felt happy even if only for a few minutes, because of me! There isn’t much that can top making someone else feel good in my book.
But wait, it gets better…
Later that same day, after an afternoon of writing, I decided to take a break from my computer and go for a drive with the windows down and sun roof open, on this beautiful sunny day. I ended up at the smoothie, juice bar in the next town. I allowed the man that held the door for me to order first. And as you’ve probably guessed, as I went to pay the cahier said the gentlman had already paid for me. I quickly went to my car and yelled thank you as he was leaving the parking lot. He smiled and waved. A block later, he turned as I went straight and excitedly beeped and waved, as if he was a friend.
Something so small… a kind gesture for just a few dollars, turns out it’s not so small. It’s a very big deal to be kind to others! So do good, feel good and go ahead… live your best life.