January Twentieth, Footnotes of a Day of Kindness

 Today, was not what I expected. Even though, I’m not sure even I know what I’m expecting any more. Things have changed so much. The pandemic turned everything upside down and inside out. I, along with so many other people, lost my job and for a while, my sense of purpose. So to be here for my folks I went ahead and took early retirement. The election happened along with all the craziness. Lifestyles have changed. Habits and routines have changed.


Some things though, have not changed.


Real hope.


  That tomorrow will be better. That there can be a way, that people can come together, work together, make life, better. Hope that the future, will be brighter than what we have gone through.


Joy 

That feeling that outshines all other feelings of happiness. When we can genuinely smile. A giddiness of the heart.


Compassion 

For our fellow man. For our neighbors. Who are our neighbors? Everyone.


Peace 

That calm, serene, lack of strife feeling.


Kindness. 

Let me expand more on this one. Partly because that is what is in the title. Partly because the word struck me on the way home from Prayer meeting tonight. As I was driving home, I was listening to the radio. A Christian music station, that has other programming. I missed the first of the program, but they were discussing kindness.

My day today was a bit on the hectic side. I was almost out of dry dog food so I decided to go ahead and head out to the big box store for groceries. As I made my way through I came up on the people who have to stop you and ask about your television service. Usually I can say its them and keep going. Today though they were trying to tell me they had a special and could make my bill cheaper. I knew better, but let them talk. When they found out I had “the bundle” they told me there was nothing they could do for me. I knew that. I just smiled behind my mask and walked away. Kindness? A little?


I managed to get everything I needed and headed to check out. Taking my place in line I waited the polite six feet back. Between the heavy sweater I was wearing and the mask, I was over heating quickly. In front of me was someone who had two carts worth of groceries. It was all well and good until the machine wouldn’t read her card. I was next in line, had almost all of my groceries on the belt, so I had front row seats for what was happening. 

It was an interesting dance actually. The lady ahead of me trying to get the card to work, the employee trying on her side. Then she came around and she swiped the card. They swiped the card so often they bent the thing. It was swipe, lean around push something on screen, hear weird beeps, try again. Step step, slide.. step step slide. They finally ended up having to go over to customer service with some sort of receipt in hand and work on it from there.


 I was proud of me. Not in a smug way, just relaxed. Even though as I stood there my frozen foods was thawing, I was calm. It didn’t get me all ruffled. That could very easily have been me. My card could very easily decide, ‘nope’ and there we’d go. Step step slide. Was that a form of kindness to not get upset over the incident? Not upset at the customer before me for being slow, or the employee who was struggling to get the machine to read the card. Completing my quest without rude or hateful words.


When I finally got home and was putting things away, my phone rang. Even though I do not have individual ring tones for people, I knew immediately it was my son. I was right. He was not going to get to leave for lunch, would I bring him something.


Let me say up front, I really dislike going through drive through, but I’m getting used to it now. After finishing putting things away, back in my car and back toward town. A trip through, order picked up and off toward where my son works.


He works as a mechanic for the dealership where I purchased my Jeep. A Jeep that needed some kind of computer update. Which he said could be taken care of while I was there. Which meant driving all the way around the building and into the sign in bay. Which in itself was fun because for some reason, people were parked in some of the strangest places making it more like driving through a maze.

I did manage to get there, the service guy was waiting on me, as my son had called and forewarned him.As he took possession of my Jeep, I walked in the waiting area and got some looks as I had yet to put on my mask. Sitting at that safe distance, I alternated between sipping coffee and wearing the mask. I ignored the looks.


Were those in any remote way, acts of kindness, or maybe self control?

What is kindness? It is more than being nice. I think nice is a watered down version of kindness.

 Nice is saying hello to your elderly neighbor. Kindness is helping get groceries in from the car.


Nice is ignoring their over grown yards. Kindness is mowing that lawn.

Nice is saying hello to the new person at work. Kindness is inviting them to join you on break.

Nice is speaking to the homeless person you pass every day. Kindness is taking them a meal, or warm clothing.

Nice is smiling at new neighbors. Kindness is bringing a meal for their first day.


Kindness is seeing a need, and acting. Going above and beyond. Kindness is love in action. Kindness is found in compassion for the struggling. Compassion for the lost and homeless animals. Gentle acts for children. Care for the elderly. Remembering those in senior centers.

I’ve seen the saying come across social media several times. When you can be anything, be kind. And you know maybe, in its own way, self control is kindness. To those around you, and to yourself.

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
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3 Responses to January Twentieth, Footnotes of a Day of Kindness

  1. Aimee P says:

    Love the differentiation between nice and kindness! This hit me!

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