The Single Woman’s Dash of Sass: ‘Tis the Season for Kindness Without Reason
Quote of the Day:
“We never know when some small kindness will forever make a difference in the lives of total strangers. Continuously performing good deeds…even without recognition…will create a trail of miracles in our wake.” ~Chelle Thompson
The Single Woman Says:
The past few days we’ve been talking about ways to live our best lives as we look ahead to 2012, and with Christmas just three days away, there is no better way to live a better life than to make life better for someone else.
Yesterday I decided to put this into practice by baking and distributing Christmas cookies to various people around my office building and by surprising the homeless man on the corner with a gift. He had told me last week that his birthday was yesterday, and since he is someone I encounter regularly on my walk to Starbucks, I wanted to treat his birthday as a special occasion, since he seems to be more or less walking through life alone.
“Good afternoon!” I greeted him cheerfully as my friend Whitney and I were headed to lunch. “And happy birthday! Can I get you something from Starbucks to celebrate?”
He turned to gaze at me somewhat disdainfully.
“I have $40 worth of Starbucks gift cards, so I’m all set on sweets,” he replied.
“Oh. Oh! Okay…” I stammered, feeling a little foolish. “Well, may I get you anything else? How about I buy you lunch from Puckett’s?” I gestured to the much-beloved corner restaurant that is a staple of downtown Nashville.
“How about a million dollars?” he sneered. “I’m already having dinner at Puckett’s tonight.”
“Oh, I see. Well…is there anything I CAN get for you? I wanted to do something special for your birthday.”
“Just get me a gift card,” he responded, looking at me like I was a complete idiot and dismissing me without a thank you or a speck of appreciation. It was almost as though I was expected to buy him the perfect birthday present and he couldn’t believe I was bothering him with such foolishness.
I walked into Puckett’s with Whitney for lunch, feeling a little disheartened by the whole experience. Just that morning I had heard another tale of a family abusing the Angel Tree system by placing their four kids’ names on the tree when they didn’t really need the assistance. It all left me feeling a little blue.
But here’s the thing: Whether the object of your kindness appreciates it, or even really NEEDS it, an act of kindness is never a waste of time. Every time you put something positive out there into the world, whether it be an act or a word or a deed…I think the universe changes a bit, shifts a bit, becomes a little bit better. Kindness invites miracles to show up, not just in YOUR world but in THE world.
As I handed the Puckett’s gift card to the homeless man on the corner on our way back to the office, I didn’t look for a thank you or an acknowledgement or any kind of a response whatsoever. Because it wasn’t about that. The gesture wasn’t about making ME breathe easier or sleep better at night…but about making HIS life better. Isn’t that what kindness it TRULY all about…the result instead of the reward? And if he eats a warm, hearty meal tonight or any other night because of me, that’s all the recognition I need.
So today, I urge you to commit a random act of kindness or a senseless act of beauty, without any reason. Why? Because ‘Tis the Season.