One of the gentlest men in the world said so nicely,
“There are three ways to ultimate success:
The first way is to be kind.
The second way is to be kind.
The third way is to be kind.” — Fred Rogers
In these turbulent times, with violent acts happening all over our world, mass shootings, climate change, inflation, women’s rights in jeopardy, and frightening revelations about a former leader, it is refreshing to see and look for small acts of kindness. They are all around us; sometimes you just need to stop and look and listen.
I was out jogging early one morning last week. There was a young man shooting baskets in the park in our neighborhood. This early in the morning, I usually go unnoticed as I trudge around the block. This day would be different. I heard the young man shout, “Hello.” I quickly yelled, “Good morning” back and found myself smiling. I was the recipient of a kind word and I felt wonderful.
Other acts can easily go unnoticed. My husband and I were riding our bicycles last week and saw a turtle on its back in the middle of the road. We turned around and my husband (the Iowa farm boy) quickly picked up the turtle and put him in a safe place near the water. It was a small gesture, but huge in my eyes.
A few days ago, driving along County Road 5, there was an older man — actually, someone who is probably my age — walking up the hill, picking up trash along the road.
And our 21-month-old twin grandsons have moments of kindness between them. I will see one of them grab an extra Nuk (pacifier) and put it in his brother’s mouth. They are also always willing to share their snacks with their dogs, even if it is something they love. They are also at the ready to bring me my shoes if they want to go outside or if I am heading home. Our older grandchildren never forget to give us a hug when we are coming or going.
You never know what is going on in a person’s life. So even a simple smile or a kind hello can change the course of someone’s day.
Atticus Finch, the soft-spoken lawyer in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” had a plethora of wise words for his children and in the courtroom. But probably the most remembered quote is, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Think about that as you go through your day. Say hi or smile at someone in the grocery store, at the bank, while walking your dog. Hold the door open for someone, and remember to say “thank you” to those that do the same for you. It is easy to do and costs nothing! So please, be kind.