Uwana wrote this great blog post that even got freshly pressed, where she asked the question: “Do you say hi to everyone you meet?” Her reason for asking is her lovely two year old, who flashes her smile and say “hieee” to everyone she meets. Taking a look at the society around her, Uwana asks the very important question:
It was such a great post, and left me thinking. I can’t speak for everyone, but I think that the reason that I may be suspicious of friendliness stems from a fear of rejection. I think most people are scared of rejection, and that might stop one from saying “hi” to everyone that passes by.
I spent last week together with my best friend and her cute children age 1 and 3, and I was asking myself the same questions as Uwana did in her post. I was facinated to watch the 3 year old strike up conversations with complete strangers so easily and naturally. I admire the openness in her and pray that she’ll never change. At the same time this infinite openness and trust in every stranger alarm me and I keep asking myself when and how do we bring up the fact that not all people are good and that you should exercise some caution when approaching strangers? I would hate destroying her innocence and planting fear in her, but perhaps that’s what happened to us? Maybe our parent’s serious conversation is what happens between childhood and adulthood…
Another aspect that occurs as we grow out of the playground and into real world is pain, unfortunately. I think we often guard our hearts because past experiences have taught us that not doing so leads to pain. Even though this is true for most people, I do believe in the small act of kindness, and I think saying hello might turn a bad day around. When I did my random act of kindness project in August, I experienced this several times. It might seem naïve and almost stupid to keep looking at the world with the eyes of a child. What I know for sure is that when we hang on to our pain we’re only punishing ourselves. We potentially miss out on so many great things due to fear of being hurt.
That’s why I’m so inspired by what Uwana brought up in her post. I agree with her, and I will try greeting life enthusiastically, with a smile on my face!
I’ve made it my goal to do something nice for somebody every day this month. I find myself waking up each morning with new and exciting ideas of things to do for others, and the rewards have been wonderful.
Today I stopped for gas, and I noticed an elderly lady struggling trying refuelling her car. I waited for a little while, and went over to her, offering to help. She was so grateful! It turned out to be the first time she tried to buy petrol for the car, this had been a task her husband always had covered. With tears in her eyes, she told me quietly that after forty – two years of marriage, her husband died three weeks ago. I was so glad I saw her need for help, and was able to guide her trough refuelling.
Thursday I continued my act of kindness project and wrote ten postcards to relatives all around the world. I also made a commitment to drive a neighbour to the grocery store, until her car is returned.
Friday I returned to my all-in-one services as driver/personal shopper/ personal secretary/ garden help and advicer for my Dad 🙂
Friday night I went with a friend to her friend’s birthday party. It turned out to be a real psychedelic experience, but I’m glad I went with my friend, and we shared a good time.
No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.
Today I had an appointment at the optician; it was that time of the year again. I’ve been a customer at the same place for twenty years, and the girls working the reception are always so nice. So today I decided to let them be a part of my project.
I was up early and baked vanilla buns, that I brought them. There are four ladies working behind the counters, all in different ages. They are always so generous to their customers, so I think it was perfect to spoil them a bit today. I wrote a kind little postcard explaining a bit about the project and I gave them each a lovely apricot colour rose.
And my optician had only good news for me, no problem with my eyes 🙂
It’s Sunday, and I met a little boy for the first time today. Young Olav was born a week ago, and he is so cute. His mother is a great girl, even though we’re not close friends, I do consider her a friend, and it was so nice to see her with her new born child in her arms. When I came home, I sat down and wrote a little poem to little Olav, a little welcome.
Other acts of kindness I’ve done today, have been paying compliments. Everyone needs to hear a nice word from time to time, even those among us that don’t seem to need anything. The reason I write this, is my experience of today. I met someone today, whom I think is beautiful and successful, and I can feel a little intimidated in her present. Her response of me complimenting her new hairstyle, tells me that my project of act of kindness is important.
Act as if what you do makes a different. It does! William James
During my DIY project yesterday, I went to the store twice to buy spray paint. The second time, the cashier asked me what I was up to, buying light green car paint. I told her about my old dresser, and she was curious if the result of the project. She got very excited, it turned out that she had a similar dresser at home, and would have loved to do the same job. Unfortunately she had a back injury that prevented her to do something about it. I thought I’d seen her before, and when we talked we understood we’re practically neighbours. So my act of kindness for yesterday was to go to her house, and spray paint her old dresser. It turned out quite nice, don’t you think? The work was completed in less than ninety minutes…
On my way home yesterday, I stopped and offered my neighbour a lift, when I saw him carrying heavy grocery bags. He was grateful for the lift, and during the three minute long drive he told me that he had been to IKEA several days ago. And he regretted it! Being no handyman, he had real trouble in putting his new furniture together… So last night I was being a helpful neighbour and here are the results:
Today I’ve been out with my Dad all day. He wanted to buy some presents for my brothers, so I guess by being his driver, shopping assistant and general consultant, I for filed my daily kindness project. Since both my brothers read this blog occasionally, I can’t revile what we bought just yet, but let me say this; our Dad knew what he wanted, and what he wanted to pay,,, so it took some time 🙂
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
― Desmond Tutu
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
― Mother Teresa
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
― Lao Tzu
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
― Mother Teresa
“The shortest distance between two people is a smile.”
― Victor Borge