The Power of Kindness

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kindness2“Hey, where’s Chris?” I inquired.

“He’s in the hospital.  But he’s coming…” was the reply.

What?  And then the story unfolded…

My good friend Chris had been teaching his college class when his heart began doing some funny things.  These feelings were not new however.  He had had these strange irregularities before.  He excused himself and went to the campus medical clinic.  They did an initial assessment then loaded him into an ambulance bound for the hospital.

Upon his arrival, where he rendezvoused with his wife, they sedated him into unconsciousness and jolted his heart back into a normal rhythm.  When he woke from his nap he asked if everything had worked out ok with his heart.  Yes indeed it had.

He then suggested to his wife that she leave for my father’s memorial service, where he would shortly join her.  She relayed this remarkable story to me when she arrived at the service.  Then a short time later, true to his word, Chris wandered into the service just before it started – having come straight from getting his heart jump-started at the hospital.

“What are you doing here? I asked incredulously.

“Hey, you’re my friend, I wouldn’t miss this.  I’m here to support you.” was his simple reply.

His kindness overwhelmed me.

What was more overwhelming was the number of other people whose kindness, like Chris’s, powerfully touched me when they heard of my father’s transition from this life to his next in heaven.  Texts, emails, skype messages, flowers, in person communications – all manner of mechanisms were used by scores of people to simply say that they cared.

Kindness is powerful.

The type of kindness I experienced recently was simply people expressing to me their condolences for my grief, that they cared for me, and that they wanted to support me.

Simple, yet profound.

Kindness can come in many packages though.  Kindness can be expressed in word and in deed.  You may have heard of Random Acts of Kindness: selfless acts performed by a person or group wishing to either assist or to cheer up an individual.  A Random Act of Kindness can be any act designed to contribute to the well-being of another person.

I experienced Intentional Words of Kindness.  People who I knew well, acquaintances and even people I have never met, all gave me Intentional Words of Kindness.  Many didn’t really know what to say, but they knew the sentiments they wanted to communicate:

I am sorry for your pain.  I care that you are hurting.  I care for you.

Wow.  To receive a simple note expressing care really touched my heart.

It can be difficult in the midst of the demands of our busy lives to even notice the needs of others, let alone choosing to do something about it.  A kind word or a kind deed in the midst of an everyday or extraordinary situation can truly touch someone’s heart.  For some people, a kind deed offered by a stranger can even restore their faith in humanity.  Simple kindnesses offered in the midst of everyday life can be that warming ray of sunshine bursting through the dark clouds of a stormy day.

All of us have the power to offer a kind word or a kind deed.  When we do, we can be assured it will have an impact – even if the person on the receiving end shows no indication of such.  The very act of offering a selfless kindness impacts us as well.  Anytime we can step out of our own little world to notice the needs of another, then do something about it, makes us a richer human being.

And being rich in kindness is a far better investment than many other types of “riches”.

So who can you be kind to?  Pick someone, anyone.  Then perform an Intentional Act of Kindness and throw in an Intentional Word of Kindness just for good measure.  I guarantee you will be richer for it, and so will the recipient of your kindness.

We are all better off if we give people a bit of our heart instead of a piece of our mind.

Yes, kindness is indeed powerful.  I know because I have experienced yours – thank you.

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Leading and Living on Purpose.