Be kind. Always. With yourself and others.

It’s rare to know how much someone else is hurting…

Even if you’re standing next to them…

(Regardless – even if you’re their spouse, parent, sibling, best friend, significant other, and especially if they’re a stranger.)

That person could be feeling totally broken, but we couldn’t realize.

Make kindness a habit. Always. No matter the provocation. 

A few years ago I had a heart-breaking experience with a grouchy security guard at a library in Florida. We had been traveling fulltime for a while and regularly used the WiFi at the public libraries to work during the day. This was the only library, over the space of two years, that had a “be silent” policy and a guard to back it up.

He prowled the stacks of books seeking those talking out loud or on their mobile cell phone to “shush” them with a scowl and to point to the outside door. (Yes, he found me twice – I was “that” woman.)  It both humiliated me and made me grumpy too, even though I was clearly in the wrong.

At the end of the day, I sat outside on a bench waiting for Rob to pick me up. (The truck was parked a fair ways away.) I saw the grumpy guard on another bench. It was so tempting to ignore him. And yet…

Be Kind. Always. To yourself and others.

(Do you ever get those inner promptings? I do. And I’ve learned not to ignore them.)

So I got up and walked over to the grumpy guard’s bench and sat beside him. I started the conversation about the weather. (You’ll find that’s often the opening line with a Canadian… I don’t know why.) Since it was Florida in the winter, the sun was shining and warm, it was a good start. Anyway. He began to share.

He shared his whole life story with me – I guess I appeared to be a friendly ear. 

He hadn’t had an easy life. And the latest blow was his cancer diagnosis.

The grumpy guard was scheduled for treatment the next week and he was afraid. He wasn’t on speaking terms with his siblings and It didn’t seem like he had a support system around him. But for those few moments, I was privileged to listen and put a hand on his arm to convey that someone cared.

He told me he believed in God, so I assured him that I would pray for him. By the time Rob pulled up in the truck I had gotten a few smiles out of that grumpy guard. I hope, with all my heart, that my kindness made a difference. Even if it was for only a few moments.

There was no way I would have known his story. And his fear, hurt, loneliness, and isolation. I’m chagrined that I just saw an old man who “shushed” me. At least at first. However, I’m not going to beat myself up – I’ve learned from that experience. Hopefully, I won’t make the same mistake again.

Be kind. Always. With yourself and others.

There’s great power in kindness. Regardless.

Want ideas? Here are 25 easy ways to add kindness to your day.

Be kind. Always. With yourself and others. #positivethanksliving #kindness

Positivity Prompts

and Resources!

Be prompted to know you're loved, to be thankful, encouraging and take action on your goals! Plus, get resources to do all these things. 

It's about being strategically optimistic.

Hurrah! Go YOU!