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Kindness Springs From the Heart

 

“It’s nice to be nice to the nice.”  That was a Frank Burns line from an episode of  M*A*S*H long ago.  Being nice is good, but it’s more a matter of civility.  Kindness, on the other hand, is a matter of the heart.

 

Kindness has an element of compassion and empathy.  Kindness is meant to make someone else happy, ease their burden, allow them to see themselves in a better light.  Kindness is honest, heartfelt, and given freely.

 

Kindness comes from a place in the heart that feels a strong kinship with humanity, that can see life from someone else’s shoes.  Kindness comes from a place of love.

 

 

Sometimes I get up early on a Sunday morning to go grocery shopping.  When I walk from my car to the store and the sun is shining (or even if it’s raining), this is when I feel most myself.  In that moment I feel alive and free.  I’m sure that sounds a little cooky, but anything troubling that’s on my mind goes away.  It’s just me and the sky and the fresh air and the sunshine and I feel like a child of God and everyone I come across is a long lost brother or sister.  I smile and greet each person I come across and it feels wonderful.  Sometimes people ignore me, but more often they smile a smile from the heart and greet me back.  I love that!

 

When you feel most yourself, kindness is a natural.  When you’re out of sorts with yourself, it’s a bit more difficult.  Those are the times someone reminds you, “Be nice.”  Being nice can get you through the day, but being kind can make you humble, grateful, and appreciative of life.

 

Last week, I took my husband to the doctor.  A nurse came into the waiting room and called my husband’s name.  We followed her back to an exam room where she checked his medication information and blood pressure.  I noticed she had really beautiful hair.  It was jet black and hung in beautiful curls down her back.

 

When I think something good about someone, I like to tell them, so before she left, I told her what beautiful hair she had.  She smiled a big smile and said, “Thanks.  That’s my new hair.”  I’m sure she could tell by the look on my face that I had no idea what she was talking about.  “I had cancer,” she said.  “This is my new hair.”

 

I was blown away.  What had she been through for that beautiful hair?  I can only imagine.  That humbled me.  That made me appreciate what I have so much more.  I hope it made her feel like “I’m still here and I’m better than ever!”

 

We passed her in the hall as we left the office.  We said goodbye and she answered in kind, with a big grin and a wave.  She made our day.

 

 

Share in the comments:  what role does kindness play in your life?

 

About carol

Hi there, I'm Carol. I look for the beauty in everyday people and the everyday world that surrounds me. I'm a writer, a fair photographer, and I'm also a wannabe artist. I wear many other labels, but I try not to let them define me. What about you? I'd love to hear about your story!

10 Replies

  1. Feyzer

    That was nice!! She went through a lot for that new hair.
    I bet it’s a symbol of a new her as well.
    I also love to grocery shop, not so much to talk to people, but to buy stuff I’ll enjoy eating.
    Keep it up!

    1. carol

      Thanks, Feyzer! She did go through a lot for that hair. I’ll bet her hair is so beautiful because she pays special attention to it because, as you said, it’s a symbol of her new self.

      I actually am not as huge a fan of grocery shopping as you are, but I love connecting in small, meaningful ways with strangers!

  2. Lynn

    Thank you this was beautiful. We do not realize what each person goes through everyday. Most of us try to smile and go on but do you know what goes on in that persons life? Have they been sick, lost a love one, just think what you go through each day. We all need God in our life, so I ask each one for your prayers for all people in our great country. Thank you Carol for this wonderful piece. great writer and great friend.

    1. carol

      Thank you, Lynn. You’re right, we have no idea what others are going through. Sometimes, the smallest of kindnesses can make someone’s day. I believe those impulses we have toward kindness come from God, who lives in our hearts. Responding to them is part of His plan to use each of us to help each other. You just warmed my heart!

  3. Susan Manry

    Thank you Carol. I struggled with your blog last week and never could come up with one word. I am still thinking about that one. This blog is beautiful and one I relate to almost everyday. My mama told me many times in my life that I never met a stranger. For the most part, I don’t. I speak, nod or wave to most people. It is just the right thing to do in my opinion. A smile, a hello, a compliment for someone is easy to do. You never know what a smile or just a word of kindness just might mean to someone. I, myself, have been down before and have had strangers say hello or a kind word to me. It does the heart good. I love connecting with strangers too. Just try a simple hello. It does the heart good and just might be what that other person needs to hear during their day. Thank you Carol. Have a wonderful week.

    1. carol

      Susan, absolutely! And I believe that the kindness we put out there helps to keep the meanness in the world at bay. It’s a tough world we live in these days, a smile or a kind word goes a long way!

  4. Lou Traylor

    Your post gave me a lot to think about. First I was going to reply with a story about one of my rules, to compliment a stranger every day. Then I thought about how my children used to get so embarrassed when I would randomly speak to strangers, (and now they do it). But then I remembered a commercial I once saw. I decided this would be a wonderful thing to share. If you care to watch it, copy the address below and paste it in your “search” space. “IF WE COULD SEE INSIDE OTHERS’ HEARTS”: LIFE, in 4 min
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl2_knlv_xw

    1. carol

      That was POWERFUL.

      I actually just clicked on the link and it went right to it. It was totally worth the watch.

      Thanks, Lou!

      1. Lou Traylor

        Seeing that has made me think twice when I encounter some one who seems angry or unresponsive to kindness. It makes being kind more of a priority in my life.

        1. carol

          I can see why. That was very eyeopening and gave me a great deal to think about.