Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Kindness - Day 28

Kindness.  The concept is simple - to act in a thoughtful way towards another.  It's a word that requires energy involving forethought and genuineness.  The gesture invokes an emotional response in the person receiving the kindness; and often, in others who witness the kindness

I have tried to teach my children to be kind to one another and those around them.  However, they are boys.  They become distracted so easily and are completely unaware of opportunities to show kindness to those around them.  They can be loud, in the way, swinging things or suddenly jump when it's least expected.  They keep me on my toes and my reflexes quick.

I try to extend kindness to others.  Sometimes I find myself very much mired down in the care and the needs of my little ones and I miss my own opportunities to act in kindness.  It feels like I am letting others, and myself, down when this happens.  Others may not know that I saw a need and tried to meet it only to not succeed, but I do.

Once when we were about to go in the arena, I missed holding the door for someone because I was carrying two bags containing skates and helmets.  I couldn't get there fast enough to help.  Instead, someone held the door for me as I ushered my crew into the building.   It wasn't the first time a situation like this has happened; I'm sure it won't be the last time.  I felt humbled.  

I am a physically capable, independent person.  I feel I should be able to do for myself and my children.  And I want to do for others as well.  But the reality too often is that I need a helping hand.  Over the last nine years I have slowly started to appreciate help and kindness when it is extended to me without feeling guilty for needing the help.  That is the biggest obstacle - not feeling guilty.

The kindness of strangers has been remarkable the few times my mom has gone out during these last months when her mobility has been less.  Doors are held open so she can go through.  Chairs are vacated to allow her an easily accessible chair to sit in.  Papers are brought to her rather than her having to move to them.  Even now, as she is able to walk with just a cane, people jump to assist her in any way they see.  I am touched by how thoughtful others are.  I hope I react as readily when I see someone that could have a door held open or are in need of a chair.  

Again, for me, it's reminiscent of my nephew Jake.  Oh, the kindness showered on him!  It often overflowed to those of us with him and could be overwhelming!  He, of course, took it all in stride in his usual Jake fashion.  We were uplifted.  Of course there were the people that rudely stared at a bald child who was obviously a cancer patient.  And when he was weaker, there were those that would step in front of his wheelchair or not move so we could pass without bumping his chair.  Bumping anything meant causing Jake pain.  But kindness overshadowed all of this.  I remember people who were compassionate and kind.  People who cleared the way for Jake, or held doors open, or made Jake smile.  

Yes, kindness invokes an emotional response, even in those only witnessing the kindness.  

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