celebrate kindness

Posts Tagged ‘listening

You know what? I have THE best friends in the world. EVER!

Seriously. I am blessed beyond measure to call so many of you my friends and mean it. I know that if I were ever in need, you would be there for me, bending over backwards to help in any way you can. So right now before I go any further with my post, let me stop right here and say two little words you need to hear:

Thank you!

Last week, I was chatting with one of my friends on the phone and in the midst of the conversation I happened to mention that I had left my purse at work and I was driving back to retrieve it. Ironically, I wasn’t concerned in the least about any money inside, or the purse itself, but rather my cell phone charger. I only have one charger to fit my phone and the battery was already drained to 15% remaining. Thankfully, I don’t live too far from school, so it wasn’t a major inconvenience, but just another blip on my radar as I went about my day.

Unbeknownst to me, my friend had picked up on my plight and made a choice to go out of her way to make sure I never had to worry about my charger again. See, while I was rambling about this and that on the phone, her brain was already forming a plan to take action.

A few days later I received a box.

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Oh my gosh! Can you believe this?? Trust me, as a technologist, this was like manna from heaven! Not only did she send me several chargers to fit my phone, she added a few others to fit my iPad, my son’s iPod Touch and my daughter’s iPhone 4. What an amazing act of kindness and generosity!

You know what’s even more amazing? I’ve only met this friend once my entire life; she doesn’t even live in my state. And before last June, I didn’t even know she existed.

See, God has a funny way of placing amazing people in your life at exactly the right time. People come and people go, but the time that they walk along the same path in your life really is purposeful. Maybe you don’t need a charger. Maybe you need to know you are loved. Maybe you need a hug. Maybe you just need someone to vent to so you don’t do something rash. Look around you. When you least expect it, someone in your life will be there for you, right when you need them the most.

Now that is an awesome way to share kindness. Just simply being there for someone else when they need it. Very cool indeed.

So to my friend who lives so far away, thank you for making my day! To my friends who are reading this post, please know that I treasure our friendship as well, no matter what the structure or framework.

And to the friends I have yet to meet, just you wait. Your day is coming! And when we connect, you will be part of such an amazing network of caring, compassionate, loving friends, you just might believe your heart will burst with joy when you think of them all.

Happens to me all the time. ūüôā

This morning as I was finishing up breakfast, there was a knock at the front door. ¬†“Mom – it’s two old ladies coming up the walk.” Sure enough, two impeccably dressed ladies in their best Sunday attire were approaching our house.

Freeze frame.  What would YOU do in this moment?

I’m sure many of you have had this experience before. ¬†Maybe not with older ladies in their church clothes holding bibles, but perhaps it was a college student selling magazines or even a young man offering his yard care services. ¬†What do you do in the moment?

Well, there are many options. ¬†You could ignore the knock at the door. ¬†You might even hide behind a curtain and peek out, waiting for them to leave. Some of you may have had your patience exasperated by the massive quantity of solicitors in your neighborhood, and you now post a sign by your door saying “NO SOLICITATION.” ¬†In any of these examples, you simply don’t open the door.

I will admit, I have done all the above. ¬†Yes, I’ve even posted a sign by my door. ¬†(Do you know HOW many people try to sell you solar screens, solar tint, and water softeners when you live in the Vegas desert?) ¬†But in recent years, I’ve come to view these door-to-door solicitors as more than just unwelcome visitors to my private abode. ¬†They are simply doing their job.

I am very fortunate that my previous experience in sales did not require me to go door-to-door or make cold calls. ¬†I have never had to experience the defeat of a slammed door in my face, nor force a smile with an angry stranger. ¬†I am blessed! ¬†The people who approach my door (which no longer has a sign), are received in kindness. ¬†No, I am not a sucker. ¬†I never purchase anything from these unannounced visits. ¬†But I do believe that my interaction with them has purpose. ¬†It provides them an opportunity to practice their sales pitch. ¬†It reminds them that there are nice people in this world. ¬†Sometimes, I believe they leave my house happier than when they arrive, simply because they weren’t exposed to hatred.

They are just doing their job.

Now I’m not going into a big debate about “if they don’t like the responses, they should choose another job.” ¬†That’s neither here nor there. ¬†The bottom line is simple: ¬†they ARE doing their job. ¬†I feel compelled to respond the only way I can – with love and kindness.

Which brings me back to the knock at my door. ¬†I opened the door and stepped onto my front porch, reflecting the smiles of these new visitors. The next few minutes I listened. ¬†Smiled. ¬†Nodded. ¬†I made eye contact with each lady and allowed them the opportunity to share their information without interruption or discourse. ¬†When there was a natural pause in the conversation, I responded with gentleness when I said, “Ladies, I appreciate the time you have spent with me this morning. ¬†I feel very secure in my beliefs, so I probably won’t be changing my views anytime soon. ¬†But I am thankful that you have such a beautiful day to share your thoughts with others.” ¬†I continued to smile as I shook both their hands, thanking them for their visit.

Then I offered them both a bottle of water. ¬†ūüôā

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Why did I offer them water? ¬†Because I knew the temperature today is expected to reach the 80’s and these ladies were dressed from head to toe with clothing. ¬†Surely they would get hot making visits all day long! ¬†Seemed like a pretty simple gesture of kindness, but you could tell by their reactions they were not used to such an offer. ¬†Although they declined the water, they left my porch with smiles and sweet chatter. ¬†It was then that I realized I was still smiling, too.

If these ladies return to my doorstep (which I realize is a very strong possibility), I will again welcome them with kindness and love. ¬†Maybe next time I’ll even invite them inside for a cup of tea. ¬†ūüôā

Be blessed my friends. ¬†Even if you choose to hide behind the curtain at that knock on the door, that’s better than spewing out anger and hatred. Maybe today you will take a moment to listen to someone else who seeks your attention. ¬†Might be your children; might be a stranger at the grocery store. ¬†Take the time to let someone else know you appreciate them. ¬†It could make a world of difference for you both!

Have a wonderful Saturday and thanks for reading! ¬†ūüôā


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