Being “Grateful for Kindness” was the topic for Week 7 of the Kindness Challenge.
And who isn’t grateful when someone shows us goodwill?
It could be another driver giving us the right of way at a four-way intersection. Or, the person with the overflowing shopping cart who lets us go ahead when they see we only have a loaf of bread.
These are the small kindnesses that make us feel good for a few seconds and then are forgotten, lost in the business of our day.
Then there are the big kindnesses we witness in the world: selfless people who undergo surgery to give organs and the chance for life to others. And those courageous folks who risk their own lives and health to help citizens living in war zones and abject poverty.
Often we’ll hear about these acts of kindness in news reports and online. However, I suspect there are a lot more we don’t ever hear about because bad news attracts more attention than good news. Tragedies, crime, and the worst of humanity sell more papers and get more follows.
I believe that gratitude is a learned attribute. Most people master the art of please and thank you early in life. But, many others simply don’t appreciate the kindnesses they’re shown. Often times they seem to expect the generosity of others.
The qualities of a good person are discussed in this recent New York Times opinion piece. I was quite touched by the story. One of those conditions is performing acts of good will without expecting anything in return (which happened to be the challenge for week #6.)
Another one is respect for others, regardless of their title or position. I believe kindness and respect are symbiotic; if you feel one, you feel the other.
We should always express our gratitude to people who show us kindness. When a driver stops and lets me cross the roadway, I nod and wave. When a family member goes out of their way to help me, I thank them.
And I’m grateful when that driver waves back or when the relative smiles with satisfaction knowing their good deed is appreciated.
These small gestures remind us of our humanity and mutual respect. If we want to make the world a better place we can’t take these things for granted.
To do so would spell the end of civility and we’re already seeing too much of that now. If we’re truly grateful for kindness
If we’re truly grateful for the kindness we have an obligation to demonstrate our appreciation by paying it forward!