This week we were challenged to be kind. You would think being kind wouldn’t be a challenge but if you think about it sometimes it is. It takes thought,time and effort to extend kindness.
One of the kind things I do is take food to folks in my building. I am not much for fixing a meal and having people over but when I cook or bake there is always more than enough to share so I take some to a neighbor. They don’t have to be elderly, sick, out of work or needy in some way I just randomly share. Mostly it’s with people I know but if I hear of someone I don’t know who needs help I will take them something. This is something I do on a regular basis.
I occasionally leave flowers at someone’s door with a note. I often don’t sign the note with the flowers, just leave them anonymously. This can be tricky. Seems some people are suspicious if they get flowers for no reason and don’t know who they are from and don’t like it.
As for things it seems I don’t do often I have worked on a couple this week. One thing is taking for granted when someone does their job. I do this a lot. This week I tried my best to remember to say please and thank you. Really we don’t hear those words enough in the workplace and I am one who is guilty of forgetting them.
I also tend not to call customer service people by their name or engage them in any conversation. I have shopped at the same grocery store for years and have never said more than hello, yes, no, thank you and bye to any of the cashiers. Weird when I think about it. I am trying to do better and did talk to Samantha for a minute the other day.
So, there you are. At home, I do okay but I guess I tend to be a bit unconscious when out and about. Going to have to work on it.
This week of the Kindness Challenge we were to think kind thoughts and act/react with kindness. I found that I can act with kindness pretty easily but less so in reacting. I see someone that needs something I usually will do what I can to help. Not always but usually. Reacting with kindness is a bit more difficult. I tend to react quickly without thought. I have a temper that I control quite well. Or so I thought. I learned that I may not “lose” my temper but I do shut down and turn away if something isn’t going the way I think it should. This surprised me. Not very kind! That brings me to the thinking kind thoughts.
Well, seems it’s the temper thing again. Maybe it was just an off week? I had to work at thinking kindly. Not all the time but there were a couple of times when my first thoughts were not kind and I had to change the way I was thinking before I could respond in a kind way.
So where does this leave me? I think I am basically kind but need to be more conscious of my thought patterns. This week’s challenge has made me aware that I am less kind than I thought I was. Not so much unkind as insensitive. This week was a good wake up call.
I cannot count the ways my friends and co-workers show kindness to me. One example is transportation. It is less than fifteen minutes from where I live to where I work. I don’t drive and to get to work by bus would take an hour. But co-workers and friends are kind and thoughtful giving me rides to and from work. Truly, I cannot put into words my appreciation for this kindness. My friends also often take me to the grocery though three stores are within walking distance of my apartment. They take me to the mall or Lowe’s or Target so I don’t have to take the bus or taxi. When I have a doctor’s appointment if I need a ride someone is always willing to take me. There is much kindness in my life!
This week I took extra care to see kindnesses of people who serve. Waitresses and waiters, cashiers and clerks can be less than friendly or inattentive at times but I saw many instances of patience and kindness extended to their customers. A young cashier at the drugstore was very patient with an older woman who was having a hard time getting her money out of her wallet and then some difficulty counting it out to give to him. He smiled and talked with her helping her with her purchase efficiently but not hurriedly. And there was the bus driver that helped an elderly man get on and off the bus without being asked and not condescendingly, he wanted to help his rider. Those are just two examples of people taking the time to be kind not because they have to but because they want to.There are many kindnesses out there that go unnoticed. It is a wonder to see them.
A tip that Niki suggested was to not watch the news for the week. There is not much kindness found there. No problem. I don’t have TV service. The only thing I use my TV for is to watch Netflix. I do sort of read the newspaper. I read the headlines and sometimes scan the article. That’s enough for me then it is on to the comics and puzzles.
I have joined the Kindness Challenge at The Richness of a Simple Life
For the next seven weeks, on Monday, Niki will give us a kindness challenge.
We will have all week to think about that week’s challenge
then we are to write a reflection.
Week 1 is Self-kindness
and this is my reflection.
I am a bit quirky, always have been. I tend to think a differently about things than other folks. As a kid and into young adulthood I found this trait of quirkiness difficult. I always seemed to be on the outside looking in. I so wanted to be like everyone else. It hurt to be different and I didn’t like myself. Somewhere in my forties, I came to realize this is who I am. I am an introspective introvert. I like to think and ponder and wonder and I often see things from a perspective of my own that is different than others. I no longer think this is a bad thing, I like this quirkiness trait. I will celebrate it.
However, there are other things I haven’t accepted. Mistakes that I made. Things that hurt me and others. I find it hard to forgive myself. I will go over and over the transgressions and they hurt again making me feel bad about myself. This week I have been working on healing the hurt I have about these things. They can’t be changed but how I treat myself can be. It is relatively easy to forgive others. Now I am taking the time to be kind to myself, to acknowledge the hurts and mistakes, accept them, forgive myself and understand that they have had a part in making me who I am and I am a good person. I am a good person!