Kindness Challenge|Week 7: Grateful For Kindness

Person feeling gratitude looking at the sunrise with extended armsBeing “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. Tiny white shell on sand with the quote 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!


 

 

 

 

Week 7: Grateful for Kindness

Gratitude Journal – Prompt #11

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Photo credit: Pedro Lastra/StockSnap.io

What holiday are you grateful for?

30 Days of Gratitude

Day #11 of the 30 Days of Gratitude prompts asks us which holiday we appreciate the most. My answer is that I enjoy most of the ones we celebrate here in the United States.

Holidays usually mean time off from work and the fast paced lives we lead. However, getting ready for the celebrations themselves can be a lot of work!

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorites. Who doesn’t enjoy a day filled with delicious foods, family, and playing board games or watching football?

I have fond memories of waking up to the sounds of pots and pans banging around in the kitchen. The unmistakable aroma of stuffed turkey wafted up the stairs, as I scrambled out of bed to watch the Macy’s parade on TV. I marveled at the size of the giant balloons and always wished I could be in New York City for the festivities.

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Against the cacophony of the hand mixer and other assorted sounds, I could hear my mom and grandma (fighting) in the kitchen. My dad would warn us not get “underfoot.” 

I helped set the table using the good china and gold flatware. We used a fancy table cover and cloth napkins and some years I even made small place cards. We lit the candles with their autumn flower rings, enjoying the scent of cinnamon and apples. Some years we had wine and the children were given a small glass. I didn’t care much for the taste in those days, but certainly enjoy a Cabernet today!

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We looked forward to the yummy desserts, as well. Apple pie was my favorite and I came to appreciate pumpkin pie (with a healthy dollop of whipped cream) in my later years. There were usually cookies, a nut roll and other assorted goodies.

All of these memories come flooding back as the sights, sounds, and smells occur every year. Of course, the setting has changed and the people have grown up and grown old. Some are no longer with us. 

What remains the same are the emotions that all of the familiar sights and sounds evoke. These feelings of anticipation, gratitude, and nostalgia are an important part of the magic that makes holidays so special!

Carpe diem!