Hello! Happy Monday!
Today is the day I’ve been looking forward too for the last week…THE LAUNCH OF THE KINDNESS CHALLENGE!
It’s no secret that I’m completely dialed into my faith and I give credit to God for everything. Well, I was praying and started thinking about the last few months of my life. I was filled with so much gratitude and realized the common thread in the memories I was recalling was that in all of my experiences, I’m most grateful for the kindness I’ve received from others. Suddenly, I had an idea… Why not share some of these experiences and challenge others to do something kind for the people around them?! Thanks for the idea, God!
Today I’ll share an intimate experience I had that reminded me of how big an impact we can have on others by simply being KIND.
Toward the end of September 2016, six weeks before my husband and I were set to get married, I began to see doctors for some abnormalities in my physical health. Around this time, I was really stressed out at work and spent more time at the office than anywhere else. Over the course of the next few months, the abnormalities required more medical attention, so I had to dance around my work schedule in order to be see my doctor, as well as complete a number of tests and procedures. Have you ever forced yourself to get to work just to avoid falling behind? Well, that was me and, while I KNEW the RIGHT thing to do was to stop stressing and focus more of my attention and energy on my health, I was also concerned with missing work in the few weeks leading up to our wedding. I didn’t worry about my health because I trusted God would work it out, but, over the next few weeks, I did stress about work more.
In the middle of October 2016, I was told I needed to undergo a small procedure. The only times I could complete the procedure were during normal business hours, so I scheduled myself into a 7AM procedure; immediately after, I would go into work and avoid taking a day off. When I arrived at the hospital early that Friday morning, I met the nurse who would be helping the doctor during the procedure. Cathy met me with a grin and an aggressive “hi there.” She wasn’t mean, but she wasn’t soft-spoken. She reminded me of home, so I asked if she was from New Jersey. Cathy was from the mid-west and was raised by an Italian mother. She was less concerned about coming off as a “sweet lady” and more concerned with getting her job done efficiently. So, we got to it.
An hour later, I was laying face-up on a table with my head turned to the right, staring at a monitor. After the local anesthesia was administered, Cathy and the doctor got to work. During the procedure, I relaxed and waited patiently for them to finish. After about twenty minutes of staring at the monitor, I experienced my first “what if” moment and felt fear for the first time since embarking on this very fast-paced health journey. Just as my thoughts moved in that direction, Cathy put her hand on mine. I felt peace again when her hand touched mine and I was so grateful that she shared that kind gesture with me. When I left the hospital, I went straight to work and I wore a smile all day. I was so happy to have been cared for by someone who, though not gentle 100% of the time, had a gentle touch at just the right time.
This may not be the kind of story you were thinking I would tell when I was spreading the word about RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS. However, it is a prime example of the message I’m hoping to spread. What does this story teach you? I hope one of those lessons is that you don’t have to do much to be KIND. Dictionary.com defined KINDNESS as “of a good or benevolent nature or disposition; indulgent, considerate or helpful; humane; mild, gentle, clement.” Have you ever had the opportunity to be gentle or helpful toward someone else? Maybe you’ve been around someone who is in a tough time and vents about their woes in your presence. What was your reaction or response? Did your mind immediately sound the alarm to get out of there? Did you offer any encouragement? Were you able to relate or were you completely disconnected from their experience? Is there anything would change you would change about your response?
My challenge for you THIS WEEK is to offer someone ENCOURAGEMENT this week. If you see someone having a bad day, find the part of you that remembers having a bad day, too, and surprise them with a RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS. If you’re around someone who is in a tough season or just having an off day/moment, take a quick moment to offer some encouragement. You can leave a little note or, perhaps, you can invite them to have lunch with you if your schedules allow for it! You can even consider offering that person a joke or something to provoke a laugh! The point is to promote positivity and spread kindness.
I don’t know what you have going on in your lives, but I do know that EACH of us struggles with SOMETHING. If you’re having a tough time yourself, this may be the right opportunity to turn your season around. Remember dishing out positivity attracts positivity! I believe that kindness and love help to heal ourselves and others. If you choose to participate in this CHALLENGE, please SHARE your experience in a comment below. Next Monday, March 27, 2017, I will share the 2nd of FOUR stories about RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS with a different twist, after which I’ll post the 2nd challenge of FOUR. Any person who participates in ALL FOUR challenges will be on the receiving end of a RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS. I can’t wait to learn about your stories! Have an amazing week! -E