Does it seem like acts of kindness have more of an impact these days? It seems these days we guard ourselves against the meanness in the world. That meanness isn’t always found “out there” beyond our doorsteps, but on the screens inside our homes. When someone is kind, it makes us take notice.
Just the other day, I was at the grocery store, loading my groceries into the car. A young employee came up to me with a huge smile and asked if he could take my shopping cart for me. I said yes, of course, and thanked him.
Then he said, “I only wish I saw you sooner, I would have helped you load your groceries into the car.”
It made my day. Yes, he took my shopping cart back inside the store, which was a nice gesture. But the real gift was his kindness to me. It made me want to pay it forward, to be particularly kind to those who I encountered the rest of the day.
You have probably heard the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” or put another way, “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.” It’s in the Bible, but this rule can be found in most cultures and religions. I think the Golden Rule is at its core about kindness toward others. It’s about valuing other people.
Take some time today to think about a recent kindness that was shown to you. What were the circumstances? How did you feel? Now, reflect on a recent time that you were the one showing kindness to another person. How did it make you feel?
In his book Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll wrote this conversation between Alice and the Queen, “Alice laughed, ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said, ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’”
“’I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’”
Let’s make kindness possible. Maybe even be kind as many as six times before breakfast!
Be kind. It is not impossible. It just takes practice.