Sunday, December 2, 2012

Kindness Chronicles - 1st Sunday of December

If we keep our antennae out and alert, most days present opportunities to extend a kind hand.  If we miss these opportunities, it is more our loss than a loss to others.  I've had no opportunities for earthshaking kindness opportunities, but a few which came as gifts to my days were:

- Giving the young, thoughtful mailman his thank you gift for the year early.  Usually,  I wait until the last delivery day before Christmas but this year I thought it might be nice for him to have it early so that he could use it when buying presents for his young children.

- Letting two elderly folks, one in a walker, go ahead of me in the Post Office line.  The woman in the walker and I struck up a great conversation and I certainly would have been the loser if I had not offered my place in line.  With tears welling in her eyes she told me that she was sending a present to her grandson who is stationed with the Army in Afghanistan.  She said that the package contained a special gift that would keep her close to him always because she feared this might be the last year that she would be around to send him presents, and then she hugged me.  Now, I ask you...who really was the recipient of the kindness?  You're right.  It was I!

- Giving duplicate copies of my Quilting Arts magazine to my tenant, a traditional quilter, who doesn't see herself as an artist, although I know she is.  The thrill that she expressed made this a special moment for both of us.  Creativity breathes new life into every day and to watch her eyes light up made my day.

- Sending a pattern for a cardboard cat hotel to a friend who isn't in a position to buy a "real" cat hotel. 

- Giving a homeless person a bit of money and coupons for two, buy one, get one free, sandwiches.  I had walked past the fellow on my way into a store but I didn't want to create an uncomfortable moment by standing in front of him as I fished through my wallet.  Fortunately, he was still there when I exited the store and I had the cash and coupons in hand.  When I reached my car, I looked back and caught a glimpse of him walking into the Subway Sandwich shop.  It was good to know that he would not be hungry, at least for that day.  Since the money and coupons would yield 4 sandwiches, perhaps he was able to pass a meal on to a couple of other folks.

- Putting up a humming bird feeder for my tenants to enjoy.  I had purchased this for myself but now the joy will be three fold.

- Encouraging and consoling a friend when her precious canine, and only "family member" on the West coast, had suddenly died. 

Though none of these acts were either stellar or of saintly proportions, the mere opportunities to extend a small, caring hand were the greatest gifts I could be given this past month.

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