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Always be Kind
January 14, 2021
I'm currently running my second 7 Days of Journaling online and one of the journaling prompts this week was about Kindness. This prompt really got me thinking. Sadly, I have encountered many unkind people, or people who don't seem to have the ability to apply what I consider just everyday kindness. Like a smile, or thank you, or hello when you walk by them.
It got me thinking that maybe these are not considered everyday kindness actions to everyone, maybe they don't come naturally to all? What do you think?
The bonus journal prompt I gave participants was to list 3 times you have shown kindness to others.
As I tried to sleep, I wondered about kindness, and how it's learned, just like manners. It made me think of my mom, and how she passed on one major thing to me. That is not to let anyone leave your house empty handed. Mom never really was good at giving advice, she didn't often have wise words to impart on her children. But wow, I realized she sure set an example in the area of kindness.
Mom never let you leave her house empty handed! Even when she didn't have anything to give, and as she grew older, she sometimes gave you odd things. I realized she would even buy things in multiples when they were on sale, like butter, or cake mix, or tea. I thought it was because she was addicted to the shopping but really it was so she had something to give.
I have a story of tomatoes to share… My first mother in law lived on a farm and had a great big garden, multiple gardens actually. I remember being there once, and she had a table full of tomatoes that she had picked that morning. She offered tomatoes to me, that I should take some before I go…but not too many because she wanted to preserve the tomatoes later that day. I remember feeling upset, offended, put off some how, and I was bothered because I didn't know why I felt that way, she just offered me tomatoes!
Then on the drive back to the city I realized what it was. I thought of a time a couple years earlier when I was at my moms, and my brother had brought mom a counter full of cucumbers from his garden. She was going to make pickles. Mom made the best pickles. Anyway, someone she knew came over for a visit, and before she left, mom offered her cucumbers. She got a bag and filled it, then a second bag. I didn't hear the conversation, but I could imagine how it went. Something like “here take some, do you need more, let me get another bag”. Mom wouldn't listen to the reply, the woman likely even said “no that's too many, what will I do with them all?”
When I was leaving that afternoon, I noticed that half the cucumbers were gone, more than half now because I was leaving with a bag. I said to her “Mom! You don't have enough to pickle now!” Do you know what her reply was? “There will always be more cucumbers.” I'm crying as I type this because you know what? My mom was the epitome of kind. I don't know that I always exactly knew it, but I know I learned it from her and for that I am so very grateful!
So, there is no real point to my story, I just ask that you consider a few things. When you have something, give it away. When you see someone, smile and say hello. If someone drops something, bend down and pick it up for them. When someone looks sad, give them your smile, your spot in line, a compliment. Bake for a friend, send something fun in the mail. And always say thank you!
It really is so easy. And I do believe that kindness is learned and can be contagious!
Have a great day!