Kindness is Free

Yesterday as my significant other, Richard, was getting ready to have a procedure in another room at the VA, I noticed a single older man in the waiting room who looked concerned and so I began to talk to him about the cost of homes today vs. the 1950s in El Paso, TX. when my parents bought a three-bedroom, one and a half bath well-built home with a big yard and a stone fence for $5,000. Right away he began to tell me about his relatives who bought a home here in Southern California cheap too. His face lit up and we shared talking costs of living and how as children we could play outside in the cool of the evenings in our streets without anyone worrying about whether we would be safe or not. Soon Richard came out. We said our goodbyes, and I know he was less concerned because this was the area of the hospital where men have procedures done.

Then we had to go to the lab, and while Richard was getting some lab work done, I noticed a large black man and another large young man who appeared to be his son or perhaps brother sitting a little further away. When Richard came out and we went to the elevator, they were done too and headed to the elevator. I noticed that the young man went to a sign on a door that no longer can be opened, and was pointing to the letters on it and saying his name at the same time. I immediately realized he had special needs, and I saw that the dad, who was calling his son to come get in the elevator was embarrassed, and I told him that I work with special needs adults and children, and his face lit up. I held up my thumb when the boy came over and said, “Good Job.” I could see a smile come on the young man’s face, and his dad was definitely relaxed and happy that someone did not treat him as though his son was a freak.

It doesn’t cost a thing to make someone feel good, especially in places where people are worried about things like their physical issues or are having children that might have some issues. I always note when children are cute or wonderful (even if they are not), and I try to talk to an exasperated parent who has neglected to bring some toys or activities for the child to while waiting to see a doctor. I want to make some little cloth bags with perhaps a few crayons in them and paper or coloring pages and perhaps a toy to offer the child.

At the Oncologists’ office, I start the women talking as a group, telling them how lovely they look, and always the smiles come or the looks of relief, and they immediately open up about their cancers. Then we all begin to encourage each other and to talk about our own experiences. Luckily mine is almost three years back now and despite choosing no radiation and no chemo, I am cancer free. I talk to them about how I did my own research because cancer, like a lot of other things we have never experienced, is a scary thing and we are overcome with fear when we first hear that WE have it. Who do we talk to about it other than the doctors, and what do all these things mean to us? But when we hear from others who have been through it and see their outlooks mentally and hear the choices they made and why, we begin to feel like it is not such a long and frightening road ahead perhaps.

We need kindness every day. It doesn’t cost anything, and it is good not only for those we give it to, but for our own health and well-being. Try a little kindness today.

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12 thoughts on “Kindness is Free

  1. What an amazing couple you are. I hope to have the opportunity to meet you both someday. Yes, you are right. Everyone needs kindness, and the VA is like a blank canvas writing for people to come with a measure of kindness. Many of these men and women have been through so much, and if your husband goes to the VA, I imagine he has seen his share. So the two of you understand that people there, as is the case everywhere these days, can use a kind smile, and a good word or two. A smile and a good word or two doesn’t cost anything and it is such a treasure that is needed in this day. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

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  2. Lovely post, Anne. I had an opportunity to speak a word of kindness the other day as I was leaving the grocery store. Often there are people in a little booth collecting for one organization or another, and usually I don’t have any cash on me. On Thursday I did have some change and the charity was sending kids to camp. I think it was probably challenged kids as the young man manning it seemed to be intellectually challenged. I talked for a bit after i put some money in the container. He told me all about trying to get his G1 license and failing 5 times simply because he got a case of the nerves prior to the tests. I told him that I would pray that the next time he tries, he would be calm and would pass the test. It took a moment to sink in, then he lit up and thanked me and wished me a really good day. I believe I had made his day. I doubt many people would take the time to talk to someone in that situation. I’m glad I was able to bring a little kindness to him though I will probably never find out if he passed or not. I will just have to accept by faith that the Lord answered my prayers.

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    1. I love your sweet and beautiful life. I wish I knew your first name because I like calling people by their names. Now you might have told me before, and I might have forgotten, not because you are forgettable, but because I sometimes don’t remember what I had for breakfast. Anyway, I am glad there are people like you in this world too. We need to remember that everyone, whether developmentally challenged or not, has challenges through life, and everyone can always benefit from a kind word. I have worked with physically/developmentally/and emotionally challenged children and adults, as well as those who have suffered because they are the lowest on the totem pole in our society – the homeless and those who have never known proper love or care in a good and encouraging family. Sometimes the things we have been through ourselves propel us to help others in a good way. I believe in random acts of kindness – those we choose to do at any moment just because it feels right. What a beautiful society it could be if we all were like that. And you know, whether we say anything to others about God or not, God knows every single thing we do, and he puts blessings on those we bless too because of who he is, not because of needing to say it or anything at all. He is all knowing and all powerful, and he says that he created us in HIS image, which means that God is everything any of us can look like or be like. So every person on this earth, regardless of race, color, special needs of any kind, etc. is here because God put us here, and therefore we are all meant to be here, and we are all sacred and the earth and the universe is sacred too. Thank you for doing something kind for another person today. You might change that young man’s life by believing in him.

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      1. Thank you, Anne. And my name is Diane. When I get my new web site up and running, I will probably sign in with that address and it has my name on it, so you won’t have to worry about forgetting. I too like to call people by name and, like you, I do tend to forget sometimes. God bless you.

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  3. Thank you kindly, Diane. It is an honor and a pleasure to know you and I honestly enjoy your writing. It is very inspirational, and no matter what language we use to speak of God, I know we are speaking the same language. God shows up in our hearts the most I think, and in the things we say. Yes, I have a lot of stress to deal with these days trying to take care of my significant other as his caregiver and also trying to get justice in my senior mobile home park (I have been trying for more than six months to get my title and registration since I have long since paid for my mobile home). I know God is helping me in many ways.

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