Acts of Kindness

My kids and I are in quarantine. Hearing about this, a friend left a bag with flowers, soup, mac ‘n cheese, herbal tea, chocolate bars and most importantly, a project for each child on the porch. She didn’t ask what we needed because I would have said “nothing. We are fine. But receiving her offering made us better than “fine.” Her thoughtfulness reminded me how much of a difference someone just jumping in and doing something can make.

This inspired me to compile a list of kindnesses of which I’ve been a recipient, do-er or witness. I believe that we all get to take turns giving, receiving and inspiring kindness and here are my examples:

A friend that stops by with a care package when you are sick.

An unhurried motorist that stops to buy a can of gas for the young man who’s late for his job.

Goofy grandparents that wave to fussy kids in long lines.

The child that takes their dinner plate to the sink to help out a tired parent.

A hiker on the trail who hurries to ask everyone in front of them if they might have dropped the keys she found.

The person who stoops to tie the shoe of a heavily pregnant woman.

A friend who sleeps on the new widow’s couch when needed for 2 months after a sudden death.

Librarians who volunteer to spend extra time with a child to suggest books that they like.

The neighbor that rakes leaves for the overworked parent.

The friend-of-a-friend who opens their house to out of town strangers so they have a warm and welcoming place they heal from an accident.

A mentor who works late to help their young charge get a project right.

The animal lover who takes in the lost and scared dog and cares for it until they can find the owner.

Teachers who shows special interest in the kid that is looking lost because they know its not just about the schoolwork.

Kids that paint something for or put a flower on the porch of an elderly person living alone.

The person at Home Depot with a pickup truck that offers to drive the too-big-to-fit-in-a-SUV patio furniture home for strangers.

Amused grown-ups who readily agrees to buy any lemonade, box of cookies or chocolate bar from a child learning how commerce works.

The writer who carefully crafts words that spark peace, understanding and purpose in someone else.

An employer who gives a job to someone who might not be qualified but desperately needs a chance.

The man that stops to help a young woman change her tire.

The long-lost friend who reaches out over time and space to call someone and say he’s thinking of them.

A friend that shows someone the brightness and light of who they are.

Anyone, anywhere who expends time and energy to make someone feel more supported, confident and heard.

There is a line I read recently in Seven Thousand Ways to Listen by Mark Nepo that inspired me to think carefully about what we can be for other people. In the passage, he is writing about our ability to cultivate a space of deep listening within ourselves, “All to create a pool in the center of my heart where strangers and friends alike can float and watch the stars.

What are the acts of kindness that have inspired you?

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(featured photo from Pexels)

22 thoughts on “Acts of Kindness

  1. Reading this post is an inspiration in itself. Thanks for sharing so much goodness. It’s easy to remember the bad things and forget the good ones. The human mind needs to take a break from negativity and indulge in some meaningful and positive thinking. One act of kindness goes a long way and often repays itself. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Terveen! What kind words and you are so right – one act of kindness does go a long way and repays itself. I appreciate your kind comment and perspective!

  2. Beautiful Wynne! . . . unsolicited acts of kindness that are ‘ Love’s little miracles’ in the lives of those who receive them.

  3. I was reading your article with deep interest, I find it so beautiful, and someone interrupted me in spite of my raised hand meaning – please let me finish – so my act of kindness would be paying attention to non verbal language to better understand people.

  4. How coincidental Wynne that I should find you here. As you read on my blog, just two days ago my daughter who’s car was stuck in a horrifying snowstorm was rescued by the kindness of strangers. There are many such stories. You never know when a kind act can change someone’s life. Lovely post. As always!

    1. Hi friend! Yes, I loved your story of the kindness of strangers helping your daughter. And great point – sometimes a kind act goes way beyond just brightening up someone’s day! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. I love this post. I would add that it is important to be open to receiving another’s kindness – as you were!! So often that too is a gift – to the giver! Having their kindness received for what it is – and having the opportunity to give it in the first place – it is a beautiful circle of grace upon grace.

    1. Oh, that is such a fantastic point, Erika. Yes, we have to be open to receiving. So, so true! And I love how you put it “a beautiful circle of grace upon grace.” Lovely! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  6. We need to remember that we have the power to make someone’s day a little better by performing a simple act of kindness. Wonderful post Wynn! Sorry you are quarantined. Wishing you all the best! <3 <3 <3

  7. Lovely post, Wynne.
    I am grateful to my parents for showing me and my sisters how to give without expectation and receive with gratitude.
    “Always give without remembering and receive without forgetting.”
    Brian Tracy
    Best wishes,

    1. Wow, what a beautiful way to encapsulate the lessons of your parents. I’m thinking that of the things we need to pass on to our children, that has to be near the top of the list! Beautiful reminder and quote. Thank you, Chaya!

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