Apparently, today is World Kindness Day. I try to practice this regularly even though people may not realize it. My momma always said “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” It is very difficult to make this my mantra, but I do try. I have felt better about social networking in the last two years because I started posting karma quotes for others. Friends would comment and say they really needed to hear that today or how much it meant to them that I was thinking about them. I didn’t realize anyone was paying attention to what I said which is what lead me to start this blog.
A few years ago, one of my neighbors had leaves all over her driveway. She is elderly, and lives alone, so one afternoon I went over there and swept her driveway. I don’t know if she ever knew who did it, but it made me feel better. Yesterday I stopped and asked another neighbor how she was doing. She told me she was really happy I stopped to ask about her because she was walking two dogs and was limping a bit, so I inquired as to whether she had taken a fall. She was fine, but it made her feel better that I asked. These are the tiny bits of warmth that make my day.
I will go back further to tell you about another neighbor I had named Candy. She lived alone and suffered from cerebral palsy. The house was dark at first, and I only saw a lady peek out the window every now and then. One day I went out and met her. She could not speak well, but I understood her. I introduced my girls and she smiled. From that day on, I would wave to her and check on her. She would come out of the house with jars for me to open as her hands couldn’t grasp them. I helped her plant flowers one day as it was hard on her. She had cats and loved little stuffed animals. She asked me to come look at her collection of Halloween Beanies one day. I took her trashcan up occasionally for her, but never tried to interfere with her independence. When I moved, she was what I missed the most.
You don’t really know the impact of small acts of kindness. So, that lady who is in a hurry in the grocery store, let her go ahead of you. It might just make her day. The mom pushing a stroller, stop and hold the door for her. The little old man walking down the street, make eye contact and say hello. Teach your children that the little things are, in fact, the big things in life.
“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” ~William Arthur Ward