How many of us could use some kindness, on the days when we feel "unkind" or unloveable?
Wouldn't it be nice, to know that someone is right there, allowing us to feel hope or radiance, when we are feeling the worst version of ourselves on one particular day?
There's times we do not want to be positive and caring, and that's okay; we all have bad days, it is part of being human. No one can be 100 % positive ALL THE TIME. That would be a super human, and show me one person who is capable of this? Mother Teresa? The Pope? An archangel, perhaps?
Kindness, as Webster's dictionary outlines, is "the quality or state of being kind; a kind act."
Have you ever shown kindness in the face of adversity? Or been at the receiving end of one such gesture?
I can recall one incident at college about ten years ago. There was this girl who had a sarcastic wit about her, and she always showed up to the Chronicle room where we wrote our news stories, and I was convinced by her snappy dialogue and dominant personality that she despised me. This, I discovered, was not the case. But it's funny how people rub us the wrong way, especially when we do not know the entire story going on behind the scenes. I just assumed she was a miserable grouch and she hated her life, or was disgruntled about a boyfriend who'd dumped her.
Being an Empath -- deeply sensitive and spiritual person who feels EVERYTHING around me -- I was startled by the degree of attitude coming from this girl. Oh God, it was overwhelming at times.
One day, I decided to do what the Bible says about our enemy; to "heap fiery coals upon their head" by showing love instead of anger.
“if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Romans 12:20)
This particular girl was having a rough day, I could tell. Perhaps she was stressed by the degree of news stories we all had to submit for the deadline. Or maybe she was just moody or hormonal during her time of the month.
At any rate, I was nicknamed the "Ice Capp Addict" because I frequented the Tim Horton's at least twice a day for the frozen treat. During an afternoon break from writing, I decided to grab a croissant from Tim's and an Iced Cappuccino. Anyone who knows what these are, can agree with me, there's nothing like them anywhere. Every other day at Tim Horton's for croissants, they alternated between a "butter" croissant and a cheese croissant. Well, I had this inner prompting to grab two of them. My thoughts went to the girl in class who seemed stressed and agitated.
Returning to class, I placed the little brown bag on the table, pushing it towards her. Immediately, with shock, she blurted out "no, that's okay, I'm fine." It was almost like she was too proud to accept my gesture of kindness. Now, myself, I relate to people on a level of random acts of kindness, through gift gifting or small acts of service, because that is one of my love languages (Gary Chapman: The Five Love Languages). So when someone rejects my kind gesture, I immediately feel offense; dusting myself off, I just settled into another news edit, and went on with the writing at that table.
No more than ten minutes later, the girl piped up "On second thought, maybe I WILL take that croissant!" She said it with an awkward, boisterous laugh. I was deeply moved, and flattered beyond words. The ice queen had accepted my gift! From that moment on, I suddenly "got" her sarcastic humour, and she was won over by my choice to ignore her snappy mood. In time, I began to realize that this is just the way she is; on a good day or bad day, she bears a cynicism and sharp wit that others would take as moody or abrupt. Simply put, though, it is her way of expressing herself. We all have our own unique makeup of personality on how we convey ourselves to the world. (Growing up, I was though of as weird, quiet, reclusive, different, anti-social, the Lone Wolf by most, because I am an introvert. But that's just ME, the way God formed me. And I do not have to apologize for my own unique genetic beauty)
Can you see though, how a random act of kindness can make someone's day, and also turn a so-called enemy into a friend?
I now have a legendary anecdote to pull out once in a while, to share with others, on this moment of beauty between two people. Casting all assumptions aside, I was able to give this girl a gift of friendship, despite the icy shoulder she was giving me.
Showing kindness in moments of seemingly impossible circumstances with those who give us a cold countenance can be turned into a blessing, if we let the flow of our hearts rule out the flow of negativity.
Try it on for size sometime. Kindness really does work. I'm sure we have been shown kindness in a moment when we were terribly unlovable or angry.
What stories do you have to share about a random act of kindness you received? I would be interested to know just what transpired.
Love and Peace,