It’s Random Acts of Kindness Week! There’s very little that has brought more happiness and joy into my life than sharing and receiving kindness with others. So to celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of Sharon Salzberg’s book, The Kindness Handbook. (See below.)
To enter, please share a story about a time when you were touched by kindness.
I’ll go first. When I was 21 and just moved to Berkeley, I suddenly developed a mouthful of cavities. I went from only having 2 to having 13 within less than a year because of a weird medication reaction. When I found out, I was completely overwhelmed. I was scared, I was confused, I couldn’t afford it, and I wanted to curl up in a little ball with my favorite stuffed animal from when I was 4. So I did the only logical thing…run the 2 or 3 miles home, hysterically crying the whole way.
A few blocks from my apartment, a homeless man stopped me. “Honey, I don’t know what’s wrong, but I promise, it’ll be okay. You’ll be okay.” I stared at him, totally confused. He repeated it a few times.
He was minus a few teeth, he clearly hadn’t showered in quite some time, and presumably had enough to worry about already, and yet he went out of his way to offer ME kindness.I don’t think I answered him because I was so surprised. When I calmed down, I went back to find him and thank him, but he was gone.
It really illustrated that it doesn’t matter what someone has (or doesn’t have), we all have gifts to give if we choose to. Any day, any time, any where. It made a difference for me in that moment, and I appreciate that he went out of his way.
I’d love to read about a time you offered kindness or you received it. Please leave me a comment below, and I’ll choose one randomly between now and Feb 20th for the book, the Kindness Handbook.
UPDATED: Congrats to Derva for winning the book!
I was very poor growing up. My senior year in high school I was planning on paying for my senior prom with money my great aunt left me after her death. Unfortunately, we needed that money for something else and I didn’t have any money for my prom. A woman at my job (I was a hostess at a restaurant) who was a friend of mine was kind enough to listen to me say how sad I was about missing my prom; I had just told my date I couldn’t afford to go and that he should find another date. She then talked with the owner of the restaurant and asked if there was something the staff could do to help me. The next time I arrived into the restaurant, the owner told me to go buy any dress I wanted, I was given gift certificates for my hair, my nails, and makeup, two of the servers offered to chauffeur me around, and one of the busboys (who was in college) asked if he could be my date. It was such a fun time because they all cared enough about me to make my night special.
What a lovely story, Derva! How wonderful that you were able to go to the prom, and that you had so many caring people in your life.
What a great story from both Cheryl and Derva!
A very simple random act of kindness I do sometimes (not as often as I might I admit) is that at the grocery store I shop at, I’ll give someone a quarter. To use a shopping cart, you have to have a quarter to ‘free’ it from the cart corral. It’s amazing how happy the person getting the cart will be, and how good it makes me feel to do that.
I experienced some sweet kindness from my own daughter this week. Twenty-one rows into a complicated knitting pattern I realized I had made mistake several rows back.
There was too much detail to try to fix the stitches, I just had to start over (several hours of knitting, trivial I know, but precious time lost nonetheless). The kindness came in the form of my daughter using the very strategies I use with her to try and make me feel better! She was so supportive and it felt great to discover she has been listening and learning all these years!
That’s so sweet. They learn so well! Thanks so much for sharing.
I think it’s awesome that you do that. And it goes to show that even the smallest things are hugely appreciated and can really brighten someone’s day!
Kindness makes my world go round. Thanks for sharing your story!