Last week as I was walking out of my local grocery store, two employees stopped, smiled and wished me a wonderful day. As I continued out into the sunshine, I couldn’t help the grin that transformed my face. A day that had been just “ok” suddenly seemed brighter, happier, and full of possibilities. And I was simply completing the seemingly mundane weekly task of grocery shopping!
Time moved on, the day speeding by, full of errands and to-do lists, but I couldn’t help but ponder the feeling I had when two people took a moment to show a simple kindness that in turn made my day better. I realize they are employees of the store and are being paid to make the customer happy, but I think we all have had an experience completely opposite of the one above where the customer service leaves much to be desired. So needless to say, the kind gesture meant quite a bit to me.
It also reinforces, after a hard couple weeks of tragic news from down in Florida, how much of a difference kindness and kind acts can make when life feels disheartening and heavy. A simple smile, an acknowledgement, eye contact, a feeling of being seen and being worth greeting can make the difference between a day where darkness of spirit wins or a day where light floods our soul. I’ve written before about how much I hope kindness is not a lost art, but this incident renewed a desire to bring it up again.
In this space, this blog, in the words in black in white on your screen, I hope to help you as the reader notice the things that make your everyday extraordinary, which can be the simplest of things.
A cup of tea or coffee in the morning that you get to savor.
A lunch date with a close friend.
Your baby sleeping through the night.
Sunshine streaming through the blinds dappling your home in light.
An unexpected rain shower that makes your garden sprout with new life.
A warm bed with fresh sheets.
A stranger’s smile or encouraging words.
A home cooked meal.
An “I’m thinking of you text” from family or friends.
An exciting career opportunity or simply a productive day at the office.
Warm, sweet smelling clothes straight out of the dryer.
These all feel like little kindnesses sent from above to encourage, uplift, to brighten our everyday and to help us realize it’s these small kindness, whether from a stranger a friend or life itself, that truly make our everyday extraordinary. Kind people are one of the top things on my list and that led me to challenge myself.
How am I being kind to those around me?
Do I smile and make eye contact, truly acknowledging the people I pass by when busyness abounds?
Do I show kindness at work to those struggling with illness and to those helping them feel better?
Do I give my husband grace and kindness after a long day of work for both of us?
Do I show kindness to those that are hard for me to like?
Being a kind person not only makes other people’s everyday extraordinary, but it helps our own as well. A smile given is often returned. A kind word shared is often reciprocated. Kindness bequeaths lightness of heart to us personally and compels that uplighting feeling to fly out of us into others.
So the next time you’re running errands around town, at the park with your children, working at your office — remember how much kind people make a difference in your own life, and help someone else’s everyday be a little more extraordinary by simply being kind.
What little kindnesses make your everyday better? A smile? Eye contact? An act of service? I’d love to hear in the comments!