One of the best things about having this site is the ability to meet really special people.
Today’s post was written by Rachel Martin of FindingJoy.net
Once I decided to focus a bit on the kindness of people, I knew that Rachel was someone I wanted to share with you.
She touches my heart. I hope she touches yours, too.
A couple years ago during a very challenging financial time in my life when my cupboards were almost bare there was a knock at my door and sitting outside on my front step were four bags of groceries. I wept.
A couple months ago in a Fedex in Colorado a friend of mine paid for the resume copies for another patron. This stranger thanked us over and over and over for a gift that was under a couple of dollars. Then the manager at the store said he’d like to pay for it because he was blessed by our kindness.
A couple weeks ago I went through the drivethru line at Starbucks and when I pulled up to pay the barista told me that the car in front of me paid for my favorite grande caramel macchiato. As the car pulled away I was humbled by the gesture. So I paid for the car behind and slowly pulled away watching the barista tell them there $7.86 worth of hot coffee was gifted to them. By a stranger.
A couple days ago I opened up my facebook messenger and there was a sweet note from a friend out of the blue telling me that she was thinking of me and that she was proud of me. I was blessed.
A couple hours ago one of my children came up the stairs, looked me in my very tired mom face, and told me I was the best mom ever. That was on a day where I felt like I was the worst mom ever. I wept. Again.
These things matter.
Some of them – like the groceries – are an investment, a larger sum of money, given to others in need. And then others, others like the resume copies in Fedex or the note on facebook really involved very little or no monetary support. But there is a theme – and that theme is the giving of self and the blessing of others without the intent to receive back. It’s a very beautiful thing. It’s a way of looking at life where the paradigm is not simply about self, but is rather with the mindset that this world is more beautiful when we invest in the lives and hearts of others.
And now here we are, in the midst of the frenetic season also known as the holidays, and the thing that we’re talking about today is kindness. I want to challenge you to look at kindness through a different lens – it’s a lens about blessing others, slowing down for others, and giving of just a bit of self for someone else. On my site, Finding Joy, I celebrate the little things in life. Those little things can be hugs from our kids, a latte at noon, sitting in the doctor’s office with a friend, notes sent in the mail, a hug for the mom whose kids are crazy at preschool, or well, honestly, kindness and all of those moments are really limitless opportunities in life for each of us to give to others. They really are the moments, the little things that matter, that in our lives will get woven together to create our own unique and beautiful story. They are the things that when we reach the end of our days that we sit at the table and share with others with words of remember when and I couldn’t believe and I was so grateful as tears fill our remembering eyes.
So during the holidays how do we celebrate those little things and work on kindness? Honestly, it’s often an exercise in slowing down, in patience, in being loving even when you are late and want to race to the next thing, in being empathetic, in seeing the world outside of the lens of self, and really, in remembering that others matter. So look at the cashier at Target or Walmart or Trader Joe’s or Costco or wherever in the eyes and be grateful for them working there even if the prices get screwed up or if things are bagged in a way you don’t like or if you just spent 18 minutes in line. Getting things perfect or racing to the next thing at the expense of others is simply not worth it in the broad story of life.
I’m telling you – treat others with respect and love – or as I tell my children treat others how you would want to be treated. So say thank you and I appreciate you and smile and exercise grace. You simply do not know the story of others and honestly, the impact kindness makes on someone’s life ripples more than we sometimes know. Give back. Buy groceries for others if you can. Tell those you love that you love them. Write a friend a message. Watch their kids. Be there for others.
Being kind is the ultimate frugal gift that we can give and yet it is really a priceless gift.
Think back to your own story? What moments made impacts? Where were times where you were humbled by the kindness of others? That’s the ripple.
It may be frugal, but it’s one of the greatest gifts one can give.
Rachel Martin is the writer behind the FindingJoy.net a website focused on intentional living and seeking the joy in motherhood.
She has learned the value of living a life loving the little things – the moments – tucked in the fabric of the everyday. And in that is a quest to live joyfully and fully. Now. In this moment. No more waiting for things to get better, no lamenting the time lost, but rather finding joy in everyday – even when the everyday doesn’t look perfect. It’s in choosing to life today to it’s fullest, being thankful, and above all grateful. Gratitude is a choice and is something one must learn. And so on this site it’s a celebration of the little things, the moments in life, that matter.
Rachel is the author behind the successful “Dear Mom Letters” Ebook and is currently working to complete several other hard cover books based on the success of her site.