You know what? Sometimes people are mean, and unhappy, and just downright not fun to be around. Which, in turn, makes you want to be mean, and unhappy right back to them. But what if you countered every thoughtless word and act with a simple act of kindness? My own child is really fantastic at this (sometimes I struggle, let’s be honest, especially if I feel like someone has been unkind to him, I want to cocoon him up and drive us as quickly as possible to some salt water, somewhere), every year in December we do the 25 days of kindness, instead of 25 days of books (I do like that one, and he is an avid reader) or 25 days of toys that we do not need in our home, but I like to include Cole in everything that I do. That everything usually includes clothing to other people (either clothing closet or the boutique we run out of our home), prom dresses and our weekly meal with my precious single mamas. He is such a gracious host and loves company.
So, this week I am stinking tired. I know that people think teachers and counselors get the entire luxurious summer off, but let me tell you, single mamas do not. Most single mamas have a couple of side jobs, and I do too. I think of the summer as the time to get some extra rest and playtime in, but also as an opportunity to make some extra money for our little family so that things are not so difficult during the school year. I am tired from the heat, tired and in need of the beach, and just tired of people in general (not good for a people person to say, but let’s be honest with each other). I went to get the mail today, after we saw our favorite mailman, Mr. Kyle, drop it off, and found a card for Cole. He is on day 12 of recovery from tonsil and adenoids removal and he is a new man (he requested to try a little pizza last night, so I think he is going to make it 😉 ), so I thought it might be a sweet get well soon card. What a surprise to him that one of my fabulous former students had sent him a gift card. The gift card was not for him to spend on himself, but to do some of his little neighborhood acts of kindness. He loves to give away cookies to the neighbors, water to his favorite mailman, Mr. Kyle, and to just generally spread good cheer to everyone who comes into contact with him. Of course, I cried (I have done that a couple of times this week, but this time out of thankfulness for such an alarmingly amazing gesture), as he went to work talking about what he could buy with his gift card, “We need to get some more waters for Mr. Kyle and the UPS guy who brings the dresses (Lularoe always ships via UPS 🙂 ) and for our trashmen, and Oh!! We need to go and meet the new neighbor now that I have my voice back (as talkers him not have a voice was pretty sad for both of us), and something for our little neighbor who lives all by herself”. Now, if that little string of excited sentences doesn’t make you ashamed of everything you don’t think to do for people, simple kind things, I don’t know what kind of person you are.
Off we went to purchase his supplies, and he was so happy to get to make his deliveries. We got to meet our new neighbors (he will so miss Ms. Tara and Mr. Tim, and their fabulous yard holiday decorations) and surprise our little neighbor who seemed happy for some company.
Our crunchy, granola, Keller Kindness Challenge is this. If you can be kind to someone, do it. You truly never know what someone else is going through, what struggles they are facing, loneliness, financial hardship, sadness (sad and mad are neighbors, remember, most angry people are really just sad). Move your neighbors trash cans or newspapers in, if they are not able. If you see a mother with babies in her cart struggling to get the kids and groceries out of the cart and into her car, and return the cart to the maddening cart corral, take her cart for her (I remember this struggle all too well). Just be helpful and speak with a kind voice. You will be surprised what you might just get started.