2013, no matter what you throw my way, I choose to experience you as a gentle and kind breeze breathing in, breathing out, smiling and giving hope.
I’ll be honest: many things have gone wrong already this year. Nothing 100% life altering, but such ridiculous situations that I have been pushed almost to the point of complaining.
Almost, but not quite. I have chosen not to complain when I catch myself. I have chosen to persevere and fight for solutions. I have chosen to breathe deeply and accept that which is beyond my control. I have chosen to hold my arms up to the skies, smiling from disbelief at one roadblock over another, and just let go.
Because while the ludicrous continues to happen (I expect it, now, if that tells you something about my eight days into this year already), my disbelief at what has gone wrong has been leveled by beautiful surprises that seem to keep occurring at just the right moment, to remind me of the good, to replenish my faith in the belief that this life is sweet, and full of good people who make it sweeter.
Last Sunday… on the train home from a very special trip to Seattle with my daughter (you’ll hear all about it next week!), we were staring at the Bistro menu when a man with a soft, kind face bent his head down, smiling kindly, and offered us his Business Class $3 off Bistro coupon. We already had one for each of us, so I smiled back, thanked him, and declined, but he gently insisted, and said “Please, we’re not using it. You can get something extra for your daughter.”
Today… at Costco, I was loading the boatload of Costco-size groceries into the trunk of my car, when a sweet woman in her sixties walked over and said “here, let me help you.” Now, I’m small but fairly strong, and I couldn’t believe this woman in her sixties was offering to help me, so I declined, but like the kind gentleman on the train, she insisted, and helped me load up the rest of the groceries before taking my cart back, smiling the whole time.
Last week… I discovered a package from Amazon in our mailbox. Inside, was a book that we had placed randomly on our public Amazon Wishlist for our son, with a note stating “Enjoy your gift! From Brad #26acts.”
I don’t know Brad Brighton. Do you? If you do, please thank him for me, and for my son. I understand he did this as part of his 26 acts of kindness, but I have a feeling Brad is the kind of person who does everyday acts of kindness, regardless.
There IS good in the world, and I don’t know what I have done to deserve such exquisite, beautiful, acts of kindness from strangers, but it reinforces my resolve to do little acts of kindness each day for others.
Holding a door open for a stranger. Helping a frazzled mom in a store. Paying for an item for the person in front of you at the checkout because they realized too late they can’t afford it. Simply smiling at strangers as you pass by.
It’s the little everyday things that add up to the big picture. It’s these acts of humanity that help me persevere and never give up.
So thank you, all of you amazing kindness warriors out there. You have unknowingly breathed in such sweetness and goodness into my life that it has overpowered any possible complaint or frustration.
I thank you every day, and aspire to return the favor.