By Linda Commito
Celebrating beautiful examples of how people are finding their own unique ways to be kind.
Whether we are an active participant or simply a witness, kindness can open our hearts and help us to feel a connection to others, a sense of belonging, and give us hope that we can each be a part of creating a kinder, more loving world.
I would like to share with you these beautiful examples of how people are finding their own unique ways to be kind. Some are small and some may seem bigger, but each act of kindness is valuable in the message of caring that they convey. Kindness can happen anywhere at any time at any age . . .
Not long ago, I was a witness to an act of kindness during an outdoor concert. I watched an adorable 3-year-old girl, Mimi, caught up in the music, joyfully dancing in her long colorful skirt and tiny sneakers. From the crowd, emerged an 8-year-old girl, Annie, with a freshly painted face, and happily holding a lion made of balloons. She bent down to show the wide-eyed, little dancing girl and placed it in her outstretched arms. Mimi was delighted and held on tightly. Looking around tentatively at her parents, Annie made the decision to gift her precious lion to Mimi. It was such a sweet scene of kindness in action.
Volunteering has a way of being life-changing, as CC, a new resident to Sarasota, FL, discovered. Moving here to care for her 93-year-old mom, she says, “I have so many things to be grateful for and want to be part of a larger community where I can express my sense of gratitude by serving others.” CC decided to volunteer to serve meals at Salvation Army for Thanksgiving and was deeply touched by the experience. She shared: “Salvation Army treats people as guests, welcoming them to a well-decorated room with table settings, where people are invited to sit down to eat and be served by the volunteers—a rarity for many of them. There were also boxes for people to “eat a meal and take a meal” to share. CC was so grateful for the experience and declared, “I’m going to do it again!” She confided, “I had been prepared to be frightened, as I have often avoided people on the streets.” But instead, she expressed: “How grateful I am to be in a community that cares. It’s a real heart-to-heart connection.”
Tracy and her husband Ray joined 120 other members, including families and kids, at Church of the Palmsin Sarasota to support Rise Against Hunger. Together in 3 hours, they packaged over 21,000 meals, which were sealed and being sent to Central/South America for distribution to needy families. It’s amazing what so many loving hands can do to ease the suffering of others.
In another part of the country, Sue from Littleton, MA, loves to uplift the spirits of those in a nursing home by collecting inspiring quotes on kindness, putting them on colored paper and leaving them on the residents’ meal trays to enjoy. So often elderly people delight in the wonderful expressions of caring made by volunteers. My mom, who lives in an independent living home, has a loving sign on her door made by the staff that she sees every day. It’s says, “Three important reminders: 1. You matter so much. 2. You are very loved. 3. Everything will be okay.”
Michelle Penn has completed over 200 mats for the homeless using over 500 plastic shopping bags each. She says, “We are saving the environment and helping the homeless one mat at a time.”
No matter how we experience kindness, it brings joy to the hearts of all who participate and leaves ripples in its wake. How can we open ourselves to the opportunities, right where we are, to spread a little happiness, share a little love?
Linda Commito, author, speaker, entrepreneur, consultant and teacher, is passionate about her vision to leave this world a kinder, more loving, and interconnected place. Linda’s award-winning book of inspirational stories, Love Is the New Currency, demonstrates how we can each make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others through simple acts of love and kindness. Her latest project, the card game Just Ask 1 2 3, was inspired by a desire to connect people of all different ages, beliefs and lifestyles to share our individuality and find commonality. Linda also created “Kindness Starts with Me,” a program, book and website for children. For more information visit http://www.LoveistheNewCurrency.com or visit the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Justask123game.