celebrate kindness

Posts Tagged ‘water

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.  🙂

Photo Apr 26, 12 29 30 PM

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.  🙂

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!  🙂

 

Advertisements

Where do I even begin?

I have tried to write this post several times over the past 72 hours to no avail. It seems with each RAK I complete, more madness, more sadness enters this world. I find it very difficult to share the simplest of blessings, overwhelmed by the grief of tragedy and loss. On Sunday, I completed RAK #12 of #26 acts. Nothing big, just a little show of kindness that blessed a stranger. On Monday I heard about the devastating tornado in Oklahoma that obliterated an entire town, including an elementary school. How could I possibly write about my RAK… something so basic, so “no big deal” in the face of such destruction and shock?

On Tuesday I received a post notification written by the husband of a sweet friend of mine, detailing the impending passing of his wife from this life to the next. Mel, just a few years older than me, was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer eight months ago, the same month I underwent testing for breast cancer. Today she passed away.

Why? How? Why? The questions circle in an everlasting turnabout, stuck in my mind. Why do bad things have to happen? How can anything I do possibly make a difference? Why would anyone want to take the time to read my little RAKs when there are so many other things to ponder in this world?

And yet RAKs do make a difference. And you do read my posts. Maybe because we know there is no answer to question number one.

It’s funny in a way how God speaks to me sometimes. Maybe you are not a believer in God, but I am. I hear his voice on my heart in the most unassuming situations. Right before learning about the tornados on Monday, I discovered this video on You Tube. (You can skip through the commercial in the beginning after a few seconds). I held it together until I realized it was all focused in a hospital and that’s where my dying friend was spending her final hours. When the words “Just signed DNR” appeared on the screen, I was done. I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. Then later that night, I heard about the tornado. More tears.

This morning, after reading about my friend’s passing, I saw this quote in my FB newsfeed:

quote

I had to laugh. It is EXACTLY how I would expect Mel to respond had I made the statement to her. Kindness is ALWAYS a big deal!! No matter how small it may seem in your eyes, it’s a big deal to someone else. I like to think it’s a big deal to God, too. Aren’t we commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves?

So that realization is what has pulled me out of my blog post slump. Kindness matters.

Random Act of Kindness #12 is a simple act, completely random, and nothing more than being kind to a stranger. We were eating at a serve-yourself style pizza restaurant following my daughter’s dance recital. As I was making my salad, I noticed an eldery woman with beautiful white hair and cane pushing her tray near mine. She was moving slowly, carefully, but despite her best intentions, the tray wobbled and her empty water cup fell right into the heap of spaghetti sauce she had placed on her spaghetti. Without a moment’s hesitation, I reached over and grabbed the cup off her tray. “Let me clean this off for you!” I walked away towards the drink counter to grab some napkins when another simple thought spoke to my heart. “Fill her cup.” I returned to the lady with her now cleaned cup, but instead of placing it on her tray, I asked what kind of drink she wanted. “I will fill it for you!” She smiled and spoke gently, “Water, please.”

lady

When I returned to her in the line, she was struggling to balance her cane and her tray while reaching across to maneuver a slice of pizza off the counter. Glancing down, I realized she never grabbed an empty plate! (The plate on her tray was completely filled with spaghetti and sauce.) Instinctively I ran to the end of the line, grabbed a plate and placed it right underneath the gooey pizza, mere moments before it slid off the unbalanced spatula. “Oh my! I didn’t even think about a plate!” she exclaimed as I breathed as sigh of relief. (THAT could have been a mess!)

I laughed a little, then grabbed her tray. “Do you want more pizza or are you ready to sit? I can carry your tray for you!” She was completely shocked, taking several seconds to process what I had just asked. “Are you sure you don’t mind? That’s very kind of you.” She pointed to the table where her family was sitting and I walked with her as she hobbled with her cane. “Thank you! Thank you so much! So sweet.” (Below is a photo I took of her at her table a little bit later.)

lady2

As I turned to make my way back to the salad bar (I had simply left my salad plate right there in the line, lol), I caught the eye of my daughter who had witnessed the entire event. In the brief moment of connection, her smile was simply an extension of my own, radiating the joy of simple kindness.

This RAK is dedicated to Madeleine Hsu, age 6, who like my daughter was “a shy little girl who always seemed to have a smile on her face.” My dear friend Mel had a smile that radiated, too. I hope Madeleine’s family can find comfort in knowing that even the smallest acts of kindness are being done in her memory.

Share the gift of love with others. Our time here is brief, dear friends, but we truly can make a difference.


Follow celebrate kindness on WordPress.com

Blog Stats

  • 45,685 hits
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: