Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Acts of kindness

“With a friend at hand you will see the light. If your friends are there then every thing’s all right,” Friends, Elton John

Sometimes the smallest acts of kindness can turn your day around. No matter how big or small, just doing something because you want to without obligation means the most. Now we all have those obligations that require us to buy a gift. You get an invitation for a birthday, retirement, anniversary party or a baby or bridal shower and essentially you are getting a bill. A bill to get a gift and attend a function. Of course you want to attend and celebrate, but there also is that assumption that you must get a gift. I love buying gifts and celebrating others, but it does get overwhelming sometimes. People can be assholes when it comes to whether or not you get a gift and what that gift may be. You are struggling right now, but you better have a gift! Not all people are like this, some expect nothing but your presence, but when it comes to a gift giving occasion, you can see the real person and the materialistic ways of the world come through. It is quite scary but sadly, the way this world is heading.
Those “obligations” are not what I am talking about here. I am talking about buying a gift or doing something nice, not because of a date on the calendar or a celebration. I am obsessed with sending Hallmark cards, sometimes for no reason other than because I am thinking of you, and it is always a treat when someone returns that act.

Now for two examples of what this rambling is getting at. Yesterday I was just taking a day to really do nothing. Having just run a half marathon the day before, I decided to just take a day and be lazy. I was feeling fine from the race, but who can’t use an easy day? As I was just sitting at my computer trying to write I received a text from a friend inviting me to dinner, her treat. It was just what I needed to get me moving that day. I got ready and headed out to meet her. Dinner was great but not as great as the company. While I talk to this friend often, we hadn’t really seen each other in a while so we had a lot to catch up on. She listened, I listened, and we tried to solve all the world’s problems while laughing a lot. This is a friend that this time last year I wasn’t anything more than a Facebook friend with and now I think of her as a trusted, loyal friend. She has a way of making me feel better no matter the circumstances. And it helps that she likes live music just as much as me!
The second example involves gifts just to make someone happy. My sister had told me last week she found something she just had to send me. Now my sister and I have this way of finding things for each other that no one else will understand, but we love. For instance, the Magnum PI shirt I bought her. He is the man. I had no idea what I was about to get. Well today it arrived and all I can say is, well done sister. It was yet another Full House gift to add to my collection. I opened it and just laughed. It was awesome. It turned my whole day around. Most notably, it helped me figure out what to write about today.

The smallest acts don’t have to involve money, sometimes time is all you need. Time to take a moment from your day and just send a text, a random pin or shouting it to the world on social media. Time to put someone else first. Time to make someone’s day. Time to just be there for another person. Now not all acts will get noticed or be appreciated, but that doesn’t mean you don’t do one. Who cares if you don’t get recognition? Who cares if they don’t return the sentiment? Small acts of kindness aren’t meant to be done for the world to know, they are meant to make someone else’s day. Just reaching one person and changing their day should be payment enough. It is true that just one act can turn someone’s day around. Just one time holding the door for someone, or giving a compliment, or just being nice, can make a difference.
I like to think that Laura Bush is the Queen of Small Acts of Kindness. Of all the times I have seen her or read about her, she is always kind. When someone talks down to her, she is kind. When stress gets to her, she is kind. And I am sure that she showers those in her life with gifts for no other reason but that she cares. And even if she wasn’t wealthy, I like to think she would still show those special to her how much they mean to her. So no matter how much I am going through, I am always going to think what would Laura Bush do and continue to show those around me what they mean to me. Of course this means that I may show someone who doesn’t treat me the same way kindness, but live and learn. It is those people that I must contemplate keeping in my life, but those who appreciate it, I will always shower with kindness. What would Laura Bush do?

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