I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness lately and appreciate those moments of kindness I get to witness.
It seems I’ve been doing a ridiculous amount of travel lately within the U.S., and a couple weeks ago I witnessed kindness while sitting on an airplane.
Kindness on an Airplane
A man likely in his late 30s ended up sitting next to an elderly couple, perhaps in their 80s. The wife sat in the middle row and the husband sat on the aisle seat. The husband was VERY hard of hearing and his wife had to basically yell at him for him to hear anything that was said. The wife was very friendly and began engaging the man at the window seat in conversation. The husband wanted to be part of the conversation too so the wife had to yell into her husband’s ear any questions/responses/discussions so that her husband could feel part of the conversation.
I was sitting in the row behind these three thinking: “whew I am so glad I did not end up in that row”. All I could think is that I would have put my headphones on very quickly and stuck my nose in my book.
I thought the window seat man would grow weary from the convoluted conversation but instead he was warm and very engaged and when he asked the elderly man what he used to for a living before he retired, the husband lit up and began telling the younger man interesting stories from his previous work life. I could sense how much he appreciated being asked and being listened to even though he was so hard of hearing.
I was amazed at the kindness of the younger man in the window seat and the gift he gave the older man: the gift of respect, listening, and kindness.
Kindness in the Community
A week later I was walk my dog Mike through the park near my house and noticed a couple actively cleaning up the park with grabber devices and trash bags, which were very full. I walked over to them and thanked them for keeping our park clean. They responded: “We are retired and have the time, we feel the least we could do it keep our community clean”.
What kindness they showed to our community!
Kindness in the Neighborhood
That same day I returned home from my dog walk to find my partner John mowing the lawn of my next door neighbors who just had a baby. Usually the husband keeps his lawn looking lovely but he was very busy with working and the new baby.
John not only mowed their lawn and their curb lawn area, but he also edged and trimmed the neighbors’ property, leaving it looking spectacular. They of course were most appreciative.
It might have taken John and extra 30 minutes of lawn care time but I know he felt good after being so kind to the neighbors. Because kindness is rewarding to the receiver and the giver!
I keep looking out for opportunities to witness simple (or large) acts of kindness on a daily basis by my fellow humans; and I hope that no matter what I am going through in life I can demonstrate kindness on a daily basis.
Feel free in the comments below to share your musings on kindness or any recent acts of kindness you’ve witnessed.