Friday, February 26, 2010

Intentional acts of kindness

You know that phrase 'random acts of kindness'? I recently heard someone talk about how it's sort of a silly phrase because kindness is intentional, not random. I'm not sure what the initial meaning was but I think there are times when you sort of stumble into it, and other times when you have to do a whole lot more planning to brighten someone's day. I'm trying to make a point to see opportunities like this; both kinds: the well thought out and the spur-of-the-moment ones. This past week I got to help a co-worker and the look of sheer delight on his face when I said I would do the big grisly task that he was not looking forward to doing himself was way worth it. Then I got to help a stranger who was from another country and when I dropped him off at his hotel (because he had been stranded... poor guy...) there was this look on his face like: how do I repay you?? That is when I wish I had said something poetic and meaningful like: pay it forward or just a simple: just thank God but I just smiled and waved goodbye.
I'm not trying to sell myself. Just the other day I seriously thought about following the little college girl that cut me off so I could give her a piece of my mind when she stopped. That same day I helped a co-worker I did my very best to stick it to another one.
Helping people though, and seeing the look of sheer gratitude is a rush. It's perhaps like breathing eternal air for just a moment or two and remembering where I come from. Though I think I will go easy on myself if I'm not quite ready to stretch somewhere just yet.
So, just a little challenge from this grumpy girl who is usually so self-absorbed she can hardly see past her feet (that and the belly that is stubbornly sticking around loooong after the baby is out doesn't help much with that either) who highly enjoyed making someone else's day. Give it a shot! And if you screw up and give another driver the one-finger salute, well then my friend why don't you do two acts of kindness?

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