Volume 13 Issue 10
Accept Kindness, Then Pass It On
By Lindy Earl
I just read a lovely story about an older woman who performed an amazing act of kindness at a bookstore. She bought a student’s books. It was over $400 but she did it. The story was relayed from the cashier. After the student left, with tears in his eyes, the woman explained to the cashier that her son was estranged, drug-addicted, and probably living on the street. She didn’t know what she had done wrong, but she wonders if, maybe, someone had been kind to her son, things would have gone differently.
Kindness isn’t hard to perform. It’s actually harder to accept. In the story above, the student argued with the woman, saying she couldn’t pay for his books and insisting that he couldn’t accept her gift. She refused to be rebuffed and moved forward with her plan to be kind to a stranger.
Sometimes the loving things we do for others extends to our families and no further. I once heard a woman say that she never volunteers because people who receive something for nothing don’t appreciate it. What a sad thought. I cogitated on it for a while and realized that I disagree with the comment. I have been the recipient of gifts and knew to appreciate them. I have been the giver of gifts to total strangers and believe that I won more than the receiver.
Yes, the blessing of giving is that the giver is blessed as much, or more, as the recipient. It’s a great feeling!
When you receive an unexpected kindness, do not let it die right there. Offer a sincere thank you if you can, and determine to pay it forward. Go out of your way to do something nice for someone.
Once upon a time, many years ago, I was walking through a Coast Guard Base in the middle of the day. Few people were out. One gentleman was a few yards ahead of me and it was obvious where I was going. The gentleman opened the door and waited for me to enter. I turned around to thank him and he was gone. This building was not his destination. Knowing where I had to be headed, he literally went out of his way to open a door for a lady. That’s kindness. And it’s kindness that could not even receive appreciation let alone a return.
I remember that action to this day, although I could not pick the man out of a line up. Maybe I’ll recognize him when I get to heaven. Yet I continue to pray for him when I recall the story. That’s one way I can repay his kindness.
We do like to repay kindnesses, don’t we? There are studies and statistics to support this. At least in the United States, people dislike being beholden to others, according to studies I have read. Therefore we try to return the favor or compliment. If you can’t return it, you can show love to others, even beyond your family.
What are your talents? What do you do well? If you don’t know your Spiritual gift(s), then please take a Spiritual Inventory Test. You can find them online or your church will have one. Then ask how you can use these gifts to share God’s love. You can ask yourself, and you can ask others.
You already know your talents. How are you sharing them? Some people will be slow or unwilling to accept your offer, but please persevere. Our world needs more acts of kindness.
Your love to others doesn’t have to be a large gift of hundreds of dollars worth of books. It can be a smile, a hug, bringing donuts to the office, letting someone go first, a compliment. Don’t allow the kindness that you have received be refused, then pass it on.
I would love to hear from you. Please comment and share your thoughts. If you like this article please share with your network!
Lindy is a Consultant, Speaker, and Writer, currently living in Atlanta, GA. She is The Business Coach focusing on Relationships through Communication, Leadership, and Corporate Culture. You will be more successful with Lindy on your team. Please contact her at LynnMarie@RealmMinistries.net.