We hear a lot these days about the importance of being kind, of including more acts of kindness in our lives. I can remember my Grandmother telling me stories over the years, of neighbors coming to plow the snow from her driveway or to give her a ride to the grocery store when my Grandfather was working in the next town. I can also remember my mother baking cookies for neighbors, not because it was any special holiday, but just because.
How is kindness defined? The first recorded use of the word kindness was in the 14th century. It was often used to refer to noble deeds or courtesy. A frequently used definition is: the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.
Kindness can take many forms. It does not have to take a lot of time or cost a lot of money. Sometimes it may require some planning. Sometimes it can be purely spontaneous. I remember my granddaughter, on her first day of kindergarten, going over to sit with a shy little boy who had not been chosen for a table partner, and saying, “I’ll sit with you.” Her instinctive heartfelt kindness brought a smile to that little boy’s face and marked the beginning of a new friendship.
When someone has experienced the death of a loved one, consider reaching out with an act of kindness.
Give them a quick call
Send a note to say – I’m thinking of you.
Offer to help or arrange for some help with a chore
Send or stop by with something they might enjoy, cookies, flowers, stamps,
Text the details of an upcoming sporting event or special on TV, follow-up with a text dialogue during the event.
Drop off some veggies from the local farmer’s market or from your garden.
Invite them out for a cup of coffee or a drink.
There are any number of ways to show kindness and to let someone know you care. As Aesop said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”