Did you know if you google the word Kindness that there are easily several hundred pages of links to sites related to being kind, random acts of kindness, discussing the power of kindness, and even about a dozen searches related to kindness: like songs with kindness in the lyrics.
The dictionary defines kindness as:
kind·ness [kahynd-nis] noun
1.the state or quality of being kind: kindness to animals.
2.a kind act; favor: his many kindnesses to me.
4.friendly feeling; liking.
1250–1300; Middle English kindenes.
1, 3. benignity, benevolence, humanity, generosity, charity,sympathy, compassion, tenderness. 2. good turn.
But nothing brings home what kindness really means to people until you hear stories from friends or see stories on TV.
For instance, Yesterday one of my friends from New York posted on Facebook about and event that occurred when she was commuting on the Q Train. Anna and her boyfriend were on the train and encountered a man who seemed to be asleep, but it had been a while so Matt, her boyfriend, went to check on the man only to find out he had passed away. Matt let the folks on the system know so that they could handle the situation. I know when she shared this with us all our hearts went out to the family. Thank goodness Matt had enough kindness and courage to check on the man.
Then today another friend shared this video about a San Diego police officer who died not more than five minutes after paying it forward with a young man in McDonalds, such a sobering story.
It is stories like this which make me pause and think about those around me in town who are having a harder time in life than I am. Encounters like this also make me want to step out of my comfort zone a bit and pay it forward to someone who needs something. Yes, it takes courage to step out and do something different, but I have heard that once you get used to acts of kindness like this, it isn’t so scary.