Simply Be Kind

I know I haven’t posted anything other than recipes lately but this subject is one that is very near and dear to my heart and it’s my birth-week so I can post what I want to, right? 😉 I cannot explain to you all just how important of a role kindness has played in my life. It started with me growing up in a small town within a big family where everyone knew and cared about everyone else. I wish I could tell you that, after moving away for college, things stayed all sunshine and roses. But, that move to college coincided with a slow and gradual move into adulthood. We all know that people, as adults, often forget to be kind in lieu of being selfish. I’m here today to call people out on that (myself included). What’s the point of being anything other than kind? Does it make you feel better about yourself? Does it get you ahead in life? Does it set a positive example for those around you/looking up to you? No, no, and no! Face facts people, choosing to be kind means you are choosing to be a better you!

I know I’m bordering on preaching with this post but I want all of us to stop and think before we act. We teach this to our children from an early age but we forget to practice what we teach! What’s the harm in complimenting a stranger on how well they handled something or the clothes they are wearing or their parenting style? Sure, you may not harm them by not saying something nice but you also absolutely won’t help them (or yourself) have a better day. You never know if that stranger you just helped may be having a terrible week at work or struggles with low self esteem or is a single parent. Your kind words or friendly smile may help them make it through the next 10 minutes or hour or day without them wanting to break down and give up. Your kind comment may make them realize they aren’t the only ones struggling and they may pass along a kind gesture of their own to someone else. Compliments feel great coming from anyone, trust me! Have you ever had a “down” day and needed someone, anyone, to notice and care? Of course you have! We are all human! Kindness truly is contagious and we could all stand to catch a kindness bug.

At work a few years ago, I started a random habit of printing out simple little notes with a ‘pay it forward’ saying. When I went to purchase a pop or walked by the vending machines, I would put one of those notes with some change on top. The next person who comes to get something likely brought their own money but will see the note and maybe think to leave their own change for the next person. It’s not always about giving to people in need, it’s about the kind gesture and feeling of goodwill. Do you know how many coworkers have casually mentioned that someone left money for their afternoon snack? Imagine if they called their friend or told their significant other about it after work that night and that person then did the same action when they went to their own work the following day. Honestly people, it’s a couple quarters a couple times a month but it makes me feel so happy knowing that I maybe brought a smile to a couple peoples’ days!

Another thing that started a while back with my former boss (who is, hands down, one of the most genuinely kind people I’ve ever come across) is taking time to recognize another coworker by contacting their manager. Take two extra minutes after a great experience with someone and email their manager to say how impressed you are with their employee. When that manager inevitably praises their employee it will make their day and all that took was a couple minutes of your time. I’ve learned to do this outside of work as well and it’s equally rewarding. Check into a hotel and the front desk clerk is helpful? Ask to speak with their manager (watch panic cross their face momentarily and reassure them with a smile) then proceed to take amongst to tell the manager how the employee started your stay off on a positive foot! See a comment box in a store? Take a minute to stop and write down a great experience you had! You don’t have to make it eloquent or long winded, just a quick note mentioning an employee by name will come back to them and cost nothing to you.

Obviously this is a topic I could write about for days but I will leave it at this. Compliment someone, recognize someone, help someone, smile at someone, be a kind person. Doesn’t matter if you see the person every day or have never seen them in your life, kindness is a language we all speak and one that should never be forgotten!

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