Welcome to 2020! It is a brand new year and decade. I love to see the months and years transform. They give us all a chance to reflect and the fortitude to start anew. Many resolve to make changes to improve their lives in a significant way. Yet others decide not to attempt a change as it is sometimes too overwhelming to stick to yet another goal.
I want to propose a different interpretation where you re-imagine your impact on others. This past year was marked with inspiring experiences that had a significant influence on my life. These gifts were “acts of kindness” I received from total strangers.
Just before the Christmas holiday, I was out running errands with Catherine after school. I started my day at 5:00 AM and it was a very long day. At 6:30 PM I had one final stop at the store. To say the least, I was exhausted and looking forward to the holiday break. As I left the store and unloaded my car, a young man helping his mom unload her cart, looked over and said, “Ma’am I will take your cart back to the store.” I was so thankful as my fatigued mind and weary feet did not want to move another step. I thanked him and told his mom how grateful I was for the help. She was beaming with delight and proud of her son for such a kind gesture.
A few months ago, I was out on a Saturday afternoon running more errands and went through the drive thru at one of my favorite restaurants. The line was especially long this day and took a bit longer than normal. As I arrived at the window and prepared to make payment, the attendant promptly told me that the car before me paid for my food and that of three others. I was delighted at such a kind deed from a complete stranger. This is someone I will never meet to say thank you!
We sometimes have the unfortunate experience where individuals assume Catherine does not have the ability to complete certain tasks. We often have to gently intervene for her to get the opportunity to try. A while back Catherine and I went on another errand to the grocery store. I gave her a short list of items and she made her way through to make her selections. She was a bit confused and stopped to ask an attendant, “Sir, can you help me?” He assisted her without hesitation and she thanked him and moved on. This was an everyday task that made a young girl feel special and made her proud mommy smile.
Try a different outlook this year! You may find personal accomplishment when you offer a “small act of kindness” to advance someone else’s life in a momentous way.