Kindness Should Not Be The Exception

My friend is moving out of state, and I am happy for her, but not happy about it at all. I am going to miss my friend so in a selfish way I am not happy; however, the job that moved her husband out of state is a great opportunity for him. So even with my little bit of selfishness I wish them the absolute best.

This past weekend I went over to help her pack and I did it for selfish a reason – I wanted to be able to hang out with my friend. This poor woman is working a full time job, trying to transition items there, packing a house, trying to put it on the market all while her husband is in another state. She is doing this ALL on her own.

Personally, I consider this Supergirl nomination material. Oh, and when her husband says things like, “It doesn’t seem like you have gotten a lot done” for her not to use her super powers and fly through the phone line to konk him on the head further elevates her to Superwoman, sans the Linda Carter outfit.

I was talking to another friend about the weekend and the packing – mostly how I was glad it was not me. I’m great at packing stuff up but the unpacking is another issue. My friend told me that they thought it was really nice of me to help and said that most people would not do that. That thought stuck in my brain for a while and has been simmering.

Why not? Sure, I had lots of my own stuff to do, but guess what, it was still there when I got back and it did not get any worse. However, in a couple of weeks my friend won’t be here. I did not want to miss an opportunity to hang out and have some giggles before she left. Oh sure, I could do like many people and ask her to meet for lunch or drinks, but this woman has NO time.

Another thing that has been simmering about that comment is that I don’t want to be elevated to some great person just because I helped a friend. After all, isn’t that what friends do? Have we lost or perverted the concept of friendship so much so that in lending a helping hand is heralded as extraordinary? That, to me, is sad.
That is not how I grew up, nor is it the philosophy of the people closest to me. Anyone in my best friend’s small town knows her because she is the first to offer a hand and the last to leave. That’s how she is and has always been. She does not even think twice about offering. She is a great role model for her kids.

When I was married we had an elderly couple move in across the street. One weekend they had at least a literal ton of landscaping rocks delivered and dumped right in their driveway. My husband at the time promptly went into our garage, grabbed a wheelbarrow, shovel and gloves and walked across the street. To our surprised neighbor he asked “Where are we moving these?” and he tirelessly helped move every bit. Ten years later when those neighbors moved they still remembered that gesture with gratitude and amazement.

Occasionally it makes the news about people demonstrating acts of kindness, almost like a freak of nature. A majority of the news is comprised of the terrible deeds we do to each other. And the saddest part of all, it has become commonplace to not only read these stories, but also to not be shocked by them.

Perhaps I am a bit Pollyanna today as I sit and think wouldn’t it be wonderful if the acts of kindness were the norm and the wrongdoing was the shocking occasional story? Call me crazy, but I think it is possible. Maybe if we just started doing the right thing, just one little act of kindness every day it could start. These acts would be lessons to our children without saying a word, lessons to our neighbors, lessons to strangers.

And when you do these small acts of kindness for goodness sakes don’t ask for your cookie. People need to show kindness to others because it is something that helps us all survive. Kindness is as important to some as air, food and water. Do it because it is the right thing to do not because you think you should get a reward. Kindness does reward but the value depends upon the intention.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Transition Strategist & Coach
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.

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