Every morning, I walk my daughter to her classroom (her choice). When I dropped her off this morning, I overheard her teacher and another kindergarten teacher singing “Happy Birthday” to a child inside the classroom. My daughter is not the most forthcoming with information, so I just assumed it was a kid in her class. Wrong assumption. It was a first grader who had my daugher's teacher last year (this teacher is so fantastic. All the kids love her and former students visit her every morning). Why was my daughter's teacher singing? Well, it turns out, this kid's family forgot her birthday. And she was devastated. So Mrs. B (that's what we'll call her) took it upon herself to make the kid feel better. After all, she tells them that she's their school mom (we can talk about this another day) and that's what moms do.
And it worked because that kid walked out of Mrs. B's class smiling.
This little moment of kindness got me thinking. It really doesn't take much effort or money to be kind to someone. And, in light of recent current events, we need a little kindness right now. You never know how big a difference a small gesture can make. So, here's few things you can do to get your started:
- Smile at a stranger.
- Give a friend a hug.
- Hold the door open for a mom and her kids.
- Don't park in the handicapped spot just because it's closer (or the spot for people with infants).
- Tell a cop or cashier or a teacher or anyone, really, that they're doing a good job.
- Stop to help someone change a tire.
- Put money in an expired parking meter.
- Say “thank you”.
- Say “I love you” to your spouse or significant other.
- Text “happy birthday”.
- Offer to feed your neighbor's cat when she goes out of town.
- Give blood.
- Volunteer to help at your child's school.
- Lend a listening ear to someone having a bad day (you can also leave a supportive comment or Tweet to someone you know is having a tough time).
- Call your grandmother.
- Give a compliment.
- Return your wagon to the return aisle rather than leave it in front of someone's car.
- Let someone in front of you on the road.
- Donate to a food bank or Goodwill or an animal shelter instead of throwing out that stuff you don't want.
It really doesn't take much to start being kind. And also, it's easier to be nice than to be an asshole (except for some people. But we can ignore them, knowing that their assholeyness is a character flaw on their part, not because of anything we did). And I much prefer to do what's easy. How about you?
Readers, what are some ways you express kindness in your everyday life?