Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” – Albert Schweitzer
I experienced an unexpected act of kindness last week that blew me away. It got me so hepped up. I experienced and saw how contagious kindness is.
I was attending an early meeting in busy part of Denver this week. I hit some traffic and was running tight on time. Fortunately I easily found a parking spot. There was a woman standing by the parking meter just waiting. I got out of my car, fumbled for my credit card and she offered, “If you wait 5 minutes you can pay for your parking. It’s still free and not taking payment ‘til 8:00” I responded, ”Oh rats! I have a meeting in 5 minutes and need to meet someone beforehand. I cannot wait!” She looked at me and said, “I got this! Go to your meeting, I will pay for your parking!” I said I would give her cash if she wanted to cover my parking. She declined the cash….. I was SO pleasantly surprised and pleased. I dug into my bag and pulled out several Grace Cards™ and handed them to her. She grinned and said, “You have no idea how much I need this today!” We both stood there beaming at each other. I felt like skipping to my meeting.
Ten minutes later I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was my parking meter pal, Alice. She had this huge grin on her face. She told me she had used the 5 minutes while she waited to check out a neighborhood library box on a neighboring lawn. She handed me a book and told me it was published by Grace Creations Publishing. Then she opened up to the title page. It was signed by the author, the author had written, Wishing you blessings! She closed the book in my hand and said, “This is for you!”
The facilitator of the morning meeting was part of this conversation. Needless to say, random acts of kindness became a topic of discussion over coffee.
I glowed the rest of the day, it set me up for seeing possibilities. I had come very close to NOT going to that meeting. Had I listened to inertia, I would have missed a blessing and much kindness.
As I drove home, I got to thinking, why do we exalt random acts of kindness? Perhaps we need to rephrase that to intentional and conscious acts of kindness. Where we set our mind to kindness, a mind set on delighting people unexpectedly. Where we determine each day to encourage or bless someone with a small or even a big act of kindness.
That was the motive behind creating my Grace Cards™. A woman showed me a kindness that seared my soul when I was very pregnant, feeling as big as a house, unseen and in need of connection. I will tell that story on my Facebook Live on August 3rd, at 2:00 MDT.
Here is my call to action. Will you join me in a 30-day Challenge? You and I get commit to do one act of kindness each and every day. If you are still hesitant to say yes, consider the benefits of kindness.
- It is contagious.
- Increases our sense of connection.
- Witnessing, performing or receiving acts of kindness produces oxytocin, (the “love hormone”). Increased oxytocin lowers blood pressure and increases self-esteem.
- It increases the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of satisfaction, well-being, and calmness.
- Acts of kindness reduce pain through the production of endorphins, the brain’s natural painkillers.
- Kindness also reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which is called the “stress hormone.”
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