Friday, July 15, 2005

Kinder Than Necessary

This week my women's prayer group challenged each other to be kinder than necessary--to find ways to be kind. I haven't mentioned it to anyone, not even my family. But what I'm seeing are people being kinder than necessary to me, and I'm appreciative of those acts and those people.

A writer whose name I recognized, but whom I don't know personally emailed me out of the blue to tell me she loves all my books and that she buys each one she sees. That made my week.

My daughter who works and goes to school and is very very busy asked last night what she could do to help me. I said cleaning one bathroom and vacuuming the family room and all the steps would sure be a blessing, and she did it there and then.

I posted on my local Freecycle list that I was looking for a little antenna to affix to a television with no cable for the top of my refrigerator. A lady named Kim posted she had gone to look in her basement and found one for me.

A gardener posted strawberry plants on Freecycle, so I took a shovel and a galvanized tub and dug a mass of healthy-looking plants from the prettiest garden I've ever seen. My ground was too wet, because I'd just watered, so I'm babying them in the shade until I get them planted.

Is being kind necessary? That was the question that floated past me as I was reflecting on our weekly project. I'm a firm believer in what goes around comes around, and I believe it is necessary and healthy to do things outside ourselves that don't seem for our own personal benefit, and in the end they are.

Ever notice how unhappy selfish people are? Ever notice how miserable you get when you turn inward and focus only on yourself? I challenge you to do something nice for someone today, and see if the kindness doesn't come back to you. Call someone who's on your heart; send a note or a card to a lonely or hurting friend, relative or neighbor; take a batch of muffins to the cranky lady next door ( have just the recipe for you); let someone into traffic ahead of you; ask the checker without a smile how's she doing today and really hear her answer. This week when a child speaks to you, get down eye-level with them and listen. And if you can't think of anything else, smile. It's a gift worth giving. :-)


  1. Cheryl,

    Very good advice, but being kind is part of your nature. You don't have to think about it twice, I'm sure. And I agree, what goes around comes around. Kindness is contagious. Have a good day, my friend!

  2. Isn't there a quote that says, "If you see someone without a smile--give them yours." I've also heard it said that if people would smile at each other, it would be the start of world peace. Hmmm--food for thought.

  3. wonderful advice and I'm going to do this today during my errands..give a smile to everyone and offer kindess each step of the day.

    During my work at the medical clinic we have many unhappy and cranky people call and come in. I have to remind myself that these patients just don't feel well so I tend to ignore those unkind acts and words from them and try to spread honey over our encounters LOL in hopes that I can brighten the day for each one.

    Don't you just love the concept behind Freecycle...changing the world one gift at a time? And what a way to save the landfills from extra waste when someone else can use the stuff.


  4. Lynn,

    It's so easy to get caught up in other people's frustration and unhappiness, isn't it? It's not always easy to take a step back and realize that they're probably unhappy with themselves and their life or health situation. I commend you for having that insight and for choosing to be a bright spot in people's days.