By Diane Forrest
When my husband died it was the worst time in my life. Instead of sitting here suffering in my grief, I started thinking about his family members who were also distressed with his untimely passing. I started sending them banana nut bread and making cards and letting them know that I would still be here for them. Doing those small things for them made me feel better. So I started expanding my recipient list. There were a couple of ladies from my church who also had bedridden or home bound husbands. I started sending them cards and baking them stuff too. I would take dinner to my elderly neighbor across the street, and brownies to the doctor's office. It would always bring a smile to their face, and brighten my day up too.
With all the bad things going on around us these days, the election, the hurricane, it’s not hard to find someone who could use a small act of kindness. I was reading a little article about someone who made arrangements to have tires replaced on a woman's car because someone had done something nice for them. I have a friend who visits friends in a nursing home even though they no longer recognize him because of Alzheimer’s. I have a friend who put together a shoe-box full of things a little girl would need or want to ship out for Christmas. You can read several heartwarming stories about acts of kindness; this is one of my favorites:
A well to do lady driving a new luxury automobile was taking a cross country trip and got a flat tire on a desolate stretch of the road. The first thing she did was to get her cell phone to call the auto club; unfortunately her phone had no signal. Her frustration turned to anxiety when an old pick-up truck stopped behind her and out came a young man in his late twenties. She was concerned because the fellow looked a bit shabby; her fear did subside when she realized he was probably a workman.
The young man offered to change her tire and the woman gladly accepted. As he was changing the tire they chatted; she told him her cell phone had no signal. The gentleman told her that there is no cell service in this area but would work as she got closer to the town a few miles away.
The lady asked the young fellow if he was from the area; he told her he has always lived in the region with the exception of when he was in the Coast Guard for several years. The lady asked if she might be able to get her tire fixed nearby; the young man told her there is a service station in town and that they are still open. The young fellow finished changing the tire and the woman offered him some money for his help. The man refused to take the money and told the woman, "We all need a little help sometimes".
The woman got back in her car and drove to the service station in the local town. She asked the manager of the service station if he could repair the tire; the manager said he would be glad to do it but it would take about an hour since his workers were busy. The woman noticed a diner across the street and told the manager that she wanted to get something to eat and an hour would be fine.
The diner was relatively empty and the woman sat at a vacant table. A very tired looking pregnant waitress came over to take her order. The woman told the waitress that she looked like she was about due and that she should not be on her feet. The waitress told the lady that she was nearly eight months into her pregnancy and was tired because it was towards the end of her shift. The conversation continued and the woman said she was surprised that the waitress was working this kind of job so close to her due date. The young waitress explained that this was her first child and the economy being what it is she had to work. The waitress went on to say that both she and her husband were working hard but they had a strong faith that things will work out.
The lady finished her meal, paid her bill and left to go pick up her car. The waitress went back to clean the table and found a plain white envelope. The waitress opened the envelope and found ten $50 bills with a note that said; "We all need a little help sometimes. God bless you and good luck with the baby".
As tired as the waitress was she was overjoyed because she knew the money was a God send. On the drive home the waitress decided she would ask her husband how his day was before she shared the good news.
Upon reaching home the waitress held back her excitement and asked her husband about his day; he replied:
"Same old same old at work, we did have about ten minutes during lunch time to throw a football around. I was a few minutes late getting because I stopped to help a lady change a flat tire".
Today is World Kindness day. PBS.org offers these suggestions on ways to spread a little kindness:
- Leave something special on the neighbor's doorstep: Flowers, baked good, or invitation to share a meal.
- Make your kid's bed. Do the one chore your kid hates the most for him/her.
- Make a contribution toward this very important fund. Change and one dollar bills from piggy banks count too.
- Write a thank you or draw a picture for someone you love. Tell them what you love bout them and thank them for being themselves.
- Pay the toll for the car behind you, let your child give the money from the back window.
- Pick up some trash. Spend an hour cleaning up a park, school, or even your neighborhood.
- Make Hope Notes together as a family and spread them all over your city or town.
- Try to smile at 10 people today.
- Visit a grandparent or elderly friend.
- Start an Acts of Kindness list.
If you have other ways to share kindness to your fellow man, send us a line and let us know.