It was a cold, gray day about 10 years ago.
The wind was blowing as I walked out of the grocery store with a full cart, trying to juggle my just turned 2 year old and my 8 month old baby amidst all of the plastic bags filled with food.
I was squeezing the trip in after a long day at work while my hubby traveled from the college where he was taking classes to his full time job.
“Overwhelmed” would have been a major understatement at the time. I felt lost on the details of mothering.
And the stress of working a busy teaching job while raising these boys so close in age, nearly on my own (while hubby was finishing his degree) was wearing on me.
Each time I went into public, I would imagine everyone around me shooting judgmental stares my way. (As if I had time to lift my eyes off of what I was doing to see them.)
On that particular day, as I heaved a heavy sigh and pushed my load towards our car, a woman walked past me. I braced myself for the inevitable comment about having two boys so close in age.
She didn’t stop walking. She didn’t even make eye contact with me.
But I’ll still never forget her.
As she passed me, she casually said, “It gets better.”
That was it. But it meant the world to me.
It was exactly what I needed to hear in that frustrating moment.
Acts of Kindness in Small Words
It seems so simplistic. So easy, that it was almost like a waste of time.
Why bother to speak words of encouragement to a perfect stranger?
This is why.
When we see a fellow Mom struggling, let’s not waste energy judging her. Or even silently cheering her on.
Let’s offer her just a small bit of encouragement. You never know when your casual words spoken in passing can mean the world to someone else.
Are Words Better Than Money?
How awesome is it when the person in front of you at the drive thru pays for your order?
Of course it’s a great feeling!
And it makes you want to pass it on to someone else.
In fact, you might end up paying for the person behind you.
But in the end…did anyone really touch anyone else?
There’s something to be said about doing kind acts anonymously. Giving money to someone who will never know it came from you.
That certainly has a place in this hard world.
In a world full of “stuff,” people are hungry for simplicity.
We’re hungry for real connection with each other.
It makes sense that small words of kindness can make such a difference.
What Is Kindness?
You may have heard the quote “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”
Replace the word “humility” with the word “kindness” and there’s a phrase you can live by!
Our lives are so busy, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of your day.
But taking just one moment to notice the people around you can change their whole day.
What words could you speak to someone today that will make the most impact?
“I love your…(dress, tie, hair).”
“Hang in there!”
Other Ways to Show Kindness
There are a million ways to show acts of kindness! Here are a few more ideas that don’t cost a dime.
- Forgive someone who’s done you wrong, even if they don’t ask for forgiveness.
- Do a job that someone else would otherwise have to do (unload the dishwasher, sharpen pencils, pick up litter).
- Speak kindly to someone who could use a pick me up.
- Give a hug or a smile.
- Hold back the mean response that you wanted to say.
- Make an actual phone call.
Think of some words of kindness you can share with a stranger today.
That kind woman in the parking lot at the grocery store had no idea that her simple words of kindness would be remembered more than a decade later.
Just imagine what kind of impact you can make.