Did you ever have one of those experiences waiting in line at a drive-through restaurant–when you get to the payment window with money out ready to hand over, you learn your bill was paid by the car in front of you which is now driving away? I’ve had it happen twice that I remember and I walked away (or drove away) both times with a big grin on my face. It literally made my day. When it happened, I found myself thinking, “Now, how can I repay that person’s kindness; what can I do for someone today that I might not have ordinarily thought to do?”
I had a wonderful experience the other day that some might think on the surface is no big deal. A girlfriend of mine has a birthday dinner every year on or around her birthday, which is close to St. Patrick’s Day. She always makes a wonderful corned beef and cabbage dinner. Well, because of a recent change in my diet due to food sensitivities, she was pretty sure I couldn’t tolerate the time-honored recipe she uses to prepare the food. She called me to find out how she could accommodate my diet. Think about that for a moment…it’s HER birthday. She’s already making dinner for herself and at least four others on HER birthday. She’s using a traditional recipe that she’s used for YEARS. Yet she called me to find out how she could help me. Some folks may not think that’s a big deal…but those of us who deal with food challenges know that it was HUGE. Thank you, my friend. Her kindness was heartwarming and made me grateful to be among her friends.
The gift of kindness doesn’t even have to be that hard, it can take only moments in most cases, and it can be absolutely FREE. Yet it can make a big difference in not only someone’s day, but how they look at themselves. A consulting firm I used to work for had a leadership model that went something like this: Level 1 was how you viewed yourself. Level 2 was how others viewed you. Level 3 was how others viewed themselves as a result of their interactions with you. “How others viewed themselves as a result of their interactions with you.” Do people feel valued after interactions with you? Do people feel better about themselves after encountering you? Or, equally important, can you help people over the long run even if kindness is delivered in the form of a tough message–hopefully lovingly delivered?
Think about what a difference you can make in someone’s life today. Doesn’t have to cost much–just an extension of graciousness to someone who could use a boost. You have the power to do that for them. What a wonderful gift!