“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
Kindness, the sincere act of being nice to someone, is almost a lost virtue in our present world, even more so if being shown to a perfect stranger. I am thoroughly convinced that a little kindness goes a long way and is a greater gift to the one that gives it than the person receiving it. I was blessed to be taught the importance of kindness through the example of my parents. They showed me that seemingly small acts such as holding doors open for the elderly, speaking gentle words of comfort to those who are hurting and sharing a smile or hello with a passerby can bring joy into other peoples’ lives. And I know I like people to be kind to me! Nothing makes me prouder than to see my sons being polite to others and remembering the value of kindness that my husband and I tried to instill in them.
One thing I need to work on is to be more mindful and aware of opportunities to show kindness. Sometimes I find myself looking back on missed chances to offer a seat to mother with a child in her arms standing in line in a crowded restaurant, or to help an older person get a shopping cart at a store. There are times when I could be more considerate, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in my own thoughts and needs and before I know it, I have let the opportunity slip by.
Recently, my father-in-law passed away. Our family was blessed by an outpouring of kindness from family and friends who brought food, gave words of encouragement, prayed for us and attended the funeral. What really touched my heart on the day of the service were acts of unexpected kindness. During the drive from the funeral home to the cemetery, every vehicle we encountered pulled over to the side of the road to show their respect, which is a fairly normal thing for our town and surrounding communities.
But I never expected to see what four people did. One lady rolled down her car window and put her hand over her heart to show that she was sympathizing with our loss. One gentlemen sat in his truck with his ball cap on his chest. An elderly man stood out by his car, hat in hand and saluted as our family went by, paying his respects to a veteran that was being laid to rest. Finally, a young man stood outside of his work truck, hat off and head down as we passed by.
The small acts of these four people were displays of unexpected kindness and meant so much when we needed it the most. It reminded me to be more mindful of others – even if they’re strangers – and go the extra mile to spread a little kindness, especially when it’s unexpected.