This fourth day of December found me well enough to emerge from under the covers to return to work, even though the cold and rainy weather made it tempting to spend another day in bed. Despite not feeling one hundred percent better physically yet, thanks to an abundance of random acts of kindness that popped up throughout the day, I found myself smiling ear to ear and feeling grateful beyond measure. At first, I tried to narrow down the various good deeds I witnessed to focus on just one, but the more I thought about it, I decided that the world can use as many examples of goodness as possible. So, here are some of the things that reminded me that kindness is alive and well this holiday season:
- Receiving a note. When I returned to work at the day shelter for homeless men, I was warmly greeted by the staff, volunteers, and guests, and one guest in particular made it an even happier return. Stan and I are pen pals of sorts, as he writes me notes on scraps of paper several times each week. The notes usually express appreciation for my help and concern for how my daughters and I are doing, and I always respond to his notes with a written reply of gratitude and leave it at the front desk to greet him the following day when he checks in at the day shelter. Today’s note let me know that he was sorry that I have been under the weather and that he missed me, and he welcomed me back with lots of kind words and advice about how to take good care of myself. Stan’s note really meant a lot to me and made returning to work all the better.
- Being treated to lunch. Every day at work, at roughly 12:30 p.m., you can find me enjoying lunch with our beloved Plant Manager, and today, he made it even more enjoyable when he surprised me with vegetable beef soup from one of our favorite local places. Normally, he will treat me to a bowl of chili, but given my recent illness, he thought that vegetable beef soup would be healthier for me. The soup was piping hot and absolutely delicious, but it tasted even better because it was bought and delivered by one of my favorite people with the sweetest of intentions.
- Reading a positive story. Sometimes, Facebook can be a minefield of negative stories and gossip, but today, I stumbled across a positive story that melted my heart. My friend’s two young sons pooled together the money that they had saved in their piggy banks to participate in the Salvation Army’s program to purchase a holiday meal for a local family in need. They decided to do this all on their own, which made this generous act even more special. Sometimes, children are our greatest teachers and role models indeed.
- Watching several guests come to their friend’s aid. This afternoon, one of the guests at the day shelter needed medical attention, and immediately, several of his friends stepped in to help him. They steadied him and helped him into the van that would take him for medical care, and they gathered up his belongings for safekeeping. All the while, they spoke to him in reassuring voices and expressed their concern for him. It was a heart warming display of friendship that left me feeling proud.
- Supporting a dear friend. It has been a little over one month, since my dear friend lost her twenty year old son in a house fire, and every day since then, I have reached out to her to see how she is doing and to offer her my love and support. There is nothing I can do to bring back her son, but I will do whatever I can to help bring her back from this horrific loss. I don’t always know what to say or do, but my friend has reminded me that sometimes just being present is enough.
Just one thing each day . . .