Here’s what I know for sure this week: (1) being kind is almost as important as breathing; (2) Even the smallest acts of kindness are remembered; (3) Kindness really matters.
Certainly I know these things every day of the year, but this is National Be Kind to Humankind Week and it’s important that we be kinder than usual. I suspect if we do it on purpose this week, it might become part of our routine.
As legend would have it, Canadian Lorraine Jara started this weeklong celebration 26 years ago to promote kindness after she read a mean-spirited article. I don’t know what inspired her but I am grateful she’s gently reminding us to be more civil and thoughtful in our actions and reactions. Think about it, most of the folks we know are nice and helpful and if we take time to build relationships with the ones who aren’t, we soon discover that deep down we all want the same things: to be affirmed, admired and included.
There was a woman at our church who was so mean she gave snakes a bad name! As I got to know her though, I discovered that when life gave her lemons, she sucked until there was no juice left for lemonade or lemon meringue pie (my preferred uses). She didn’t respond to kindness at first but over the years she became a trusted friend and mentor. I almost missed this blessing because her baaaad attitude sent me in the opposite direction.
Here’s your To Do list for this week:
- Whatever makes your day—having lunch with a friend, receiving flowers or a sweet card, getting those emails that distract you from your work and make you giggle—do that for someone else;
- Re-record your voicemail message and this time smile or share a happy thought—even if it’s a telemarketer, you’ll brighten their day;
- Yield to the driver trying to get out of a parking lot or who needs to get over. Pray for the person who cuts you off in traffic and instead of yelling profanities, wave and say God bless you;
- Practice giving every person you meet a smile or affirmation—don’t make up stuff but find something to admire and compliment. And this week especially, accept all compliments graciously and with a simple “thank you”.
- Do anonymous and random acts every Monday in September and October. Oh, and keep shining!