Here’s the thing I’ve noticed about kindnesses. I’m more inspired by what you all have told me you’ve done, than my own drops in the bucket of good will.
It seems that several of you have offered your time and your attention to others while standing in post office lines, grocery lines, and fast food lines.
It also seems that you weren’t looking for a kindness to do. It just stood next to you and opened it’s mouth, which means you had to make a choice: Radiate the attitude that says you’re as interested as a soggy newspaper about what they have to say OR smile, listen, and nod and grunt at the appropriate times.
Additionally, I have learned the universe will drop opportunities all around me. Open my eyes (okay, maybe substitute “heart” here for “eyes”.)
So it’s entirely because of you all, and your exemplary behaviors that I called back what I knew would be a a whiny, complaining phone call today. I’m on the Boards for a couple of volunteer organizations. I’ve learned that someone is always ticked about something. But today was different.
(Because of you all) I listened for as long as the guy wanted to complain, rather than find a way to wrap up the meandering conversation. Then somewhere about the 20 minute mark, a brilliant flash of insight made my eyes goggle. The caller was using “angry words,” but what he was really expressing was “I’m hurt. I feel left out.”
Hokey Smokey. Well this changes everything. My responses to him changed. Somewhere at the 30 minute mark, he was laughing and telling me,”Thanks for calling me back.” He repeated it several times before he was ready to hang up, so I think he was truly thankful.
ON DAY 3: I learned one of the big, big kindnesses we can share is to REALLY listen to each other. I mean REALLY listen so the other person feels they’ve been heard. And I’m pretty sure it creates a ripple in the universe. (You know how I’m always looking for empirical proof).
How’s it going for the rest of you?