Tuesday, November 9, 2010


"If anyone is in need, just lend a hand and help them out."
An anonymous 6th grader

Because I've had kindness on my mind lately, and we are rapidly approaching the season of joy that is often more stress-filled than joyful, I've decided to wait to write about waiting and go with kindness instead.

After my mother died (in 2002) one of the ways I busied myself to keep from being too sad, was to compile recipes from the ladies at church and put them into a cookbook. It is not much different from other church cookbooks, except that it holds a little bit of my heart and soul. It is a project I am still quite proud of. It has recipes, sure. But it also contains pictures, quotes, stories and prayers. I was an Internet novice at the time, but as always seems to be the case, I found my way to people (or they found me) who uplifted me and encouraged my creativity. Strangers, like Anne Wetzel and Jaletta Desmond who were kind enough to share their talents with me. Ladies who didn't seem to mind lending a helping hand to someone who obviously didn't know what she was doing. Maybe it was a God-thing, something that the Divine One had a hand in. While I don't discount that, I also believe in kindness of others. Thinking of it, maybe kindness is also a God-thing. It is something the Spirit moves us to be.

At the time I was working on the cookbook, I left the recipes to the church ladies who had been preparing pot luck casseroles for years. I, on the other hand trained my eyes and ears to pick up on items that might be appropriate as filler for the book. One day I went to the bathroom in the Mall which is not necessarily a place that one might expect to find inspiration. However, upon locking the door and sitting down I came face to face with a poster decorated with smiley faces and read:

Share a smile, brighten someone's day.
Open a door.
Listen with your heart.
Say, "Hello."
Visit a sick friend.
Say, "Thank you."
Help carry a load.
Plant a tree.
Buy someone a meal.
Let someone go before you.
Give blood.
Read to a child.
Commit random acts of kindness daily.
Give compliments.
Respect others.
Say, "I love you."
Have patience
Do a favor.
Forgive a mistake.
Show compassion.
Lend a hand.
Help a neighbor.
Use encouraging words.
Spread kindness.

I've always got a pen with me, but wouldn't you know it, I was sitting there without any paper to write on except little squares of toilet tissue that aren't much good for their designated purpose, let alone copying a masterpiece. But a girl has to do, what a girl has to do, so I carefully scribbled bathroom wisdom onto bathroom paper.

Over the years, I've not remembered everything on the list, but I try to live by this creed.

Fast forward a few years to an email that I got last month. The creators of the Gift of Kindness website, Daniel Decker and his wife, were requesting input for way to make their message stronger and go farther.

"GiftofKindness.com is global initiative with one primary purpose ...
to inspire others to be kind,
compassionate and loving to one another...
at home, at work, and in every interaction throughout the day.
We believe in Intentional Acts of Kindness that are deliberate,
frequent and a part of our every day lives.

Kindness, at its core, is love. It is joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Kindness is cultivating the Fruits of the Spirit within us all."

In the spirit of the coming holidays of gratitude and gift giving, why not go check it out, then put their message out into your corner of the world.

Wishing for you acts of kindness that inspire you to return the favor,
Merry ME


Pamela Jones said...

How kind of you to share this! And let's remember that kindness recognized becomes larger and larger, as the recognition encourages more kindness. Fill your heart with kindness, and joy will dance there, too!

Wild Roaming One (WRO) said...

MM, I've been blessed with sooo much kindness these past few months, that paying it forward feels so very natural to me. I'm going to check them out and spread their gesture of kindness...thank you!