Week #6 focused on expressing kindness to others without expecting anything in return.
I’m happy to say that growing older has taught me that being kind is a gift in itself. I like how it makes me feel.
Sure, I hope that the other person feels the pleasure as well, but if they’re too busy or distracted to really notice I’m okay with that.
Last Saturday was a good example. I attended a wedding celebration and was saving a seat for my friend who went to the restroom.
A young mother with a toddler on her hip stopped at the open chair across from me and deposited her youngster. I assumed she was planning to sit down and quickly told her that the seat was already taken. There were a plate and beverage marking the spot, but she looked frazzled and may not have noticed.
” Oh, no, we’re not sitting here, I just need a moment…” her voice trailing off.
“Sure, no problem,” I answered.
She looked around distractedly as the child started to fuss. Within seconds she picked up the little girl. When she did the girl spotted two cookies on the plate in front of me and leaned hard, reaching for them.
“No, no,” the mother said. “Those aren’t yours.”
The child started to cry and I quickly offered one of the sweet treats.
The mother took it and gave it to the girl who promptly took a bite and smiled happily. At that point, the parent walked off and I waved to the girl who continued to munch on the cookie. She waved back.
I noted that the mother didn’t thank me, nor encourage the child to say thank you. But, the whole point of offering the cookie was to quiet the little one and bring some peace to the frazzled looking parent (I’ve been in her shoes!)
I achieved both and felt pretty satisfied.
Which is why showing kindness to others is about making me feel good as much as them!