I read two essays this week on kindness, and they both spoke to me.
“KINDNESS IS LIKE HOLDING an ice cube in your hands. It stings, but then the cold dissolves; what at first you could barely hold becomes something you cannot let go. My father’s request for a quiet ambulance came from a man so familiar with kindness that the sting was completely gone: the ice was no longer cold, but one with the flesh.” – Your Kindness Is Good for You by Casey N. Cep
The other story, which I can’t find online, was in Real Simple magazine (I think), an essay by (I think?) the Chicago-based author Elizabeth Berg. Berg wrote about how she regretted not give money to a man who boarded a train, asking for help to pay for hospital bills for his son. The man asked his son, who he pushed in a stroller, to show those on the train his scar. When nobody opened their wallets, told his son quietly to thank them anyway. It was a story about not being stingy with kindness — to people like that man and son who might desperately need it, or to people whose plight isn’t so plainly on display.
Basically, it comes down to this: Take every opportunity to be kind. It’s good for everyone, even you.
Only semi-related: If you’re around this weekend and you want to hang out with me EARLY Sunday, you should volunteer for the YNPN shift at the Drake Relays Road Race. We’re giving one of our volunteers $500 to donate to the charity of her/his choice! Details: http://eepurl.com/SUbaT