ACTS OF KINDNESS
By G.E. Shuman
STORY FOR INDEX PAGE
Sometimes I think the things that come to me to write about are just random thoughts that somehow, hopefully, congeal into understandable paragraphs. Sometimes it’s not that way at all. Many times, it seems that a point, an idea, a philosophical or ethical ‘something’ is just beating on my brain, waiting to be recognized and written about.
Please know, as do I, that these things do not come from me when that happens. I believe that they either come from just paying attention to life’s experiences, or from God. I choose to believe they are from God.
Anyway, that’s how it has been the past few weeks about this kindness thing that keeps popping into my head. Several weeks ago, I wrote a newspaper column about a saying that I had just heard for the first time. The saying was: “Throw kindness around like confetti.” I have no idea who came up with that thought, but I like it a lot.
Here I’d like to share a few examples of “throwing kindness around.” The first one happened to me, and two others happened to my 93-year-old mother, who lives in Florida, and who has been throwing kindness around, herself, her entire life.
My little kindness event took place as I stood in line one evening, at my favorite local sandwich shop. There I was, at the checkout, with my subs already made and bagged, and my debit card would not work. I had no cash in my wallet and I later learned that my account had been compromised, causing the bank to shut the card off. I just looked at the poor girl who had to deal with me as she ran the cash register, and said: “Now what do I do?” A very kind lady behind me handed the girl her own card and insisted on paying for my order, even refusing to give me an address so that I could pay her back. I was amazed at her kindness to me, a total stranger. She was all smiles as she blessed me with this wonderfully kind act.
I spoke with my mom on Mother’s Day, and she related two stories that I will abbreviate here but want to let you know about. The first was something that happened to her as she was at a store checkout stand paying for several articles of clothing. A blouse she was purchasing rang up at a much higher price than she thought it was selling for, so Mom politely asked the cashier to take it off her sale. The cashier then said that it was fine, and that there was a lady behind Mom who wanted to buy it. Mom turned and told the lady that she thought it would look very nice on her. The cashier then said, no, that the lady wanted to buy it for my mom, which she did. Mom was thrilled, as was the lady who paid for the blouse.
Mom’s other story happened the day I was talking with her, Mother’s Day. She and two of my siblings and their spouses were at a restaurant enjoying a Mom’s Day lunch, when suddenly Mom felt something touch her arm. She looked over and saw, as she told me: “The cutest little boy I have ever seen!” (Gee Mom, cuter than me when I was a kid? Oh well.) Mom then told me that the little boy of five or six years handed her a big, beautiful red rose. Mom asked if he wanted her to have it, and he nodded his head, then happily left to rejoin his parents. I told my mother that I think God gave her a flower on Mother’s Day. She said, “I think so too.”
These three small events are only some of the reminders I have recently had of the importance of throwing kindness around, like confetti. (I do love that thought). Acts of kindness are never wasted and seem to always do the ‘thrower’ at least as much good as the receiver.