Week Three of the Kindness Challenge focused on Kind Energy.
Our guidance for the week was to: Focus our thoughts and actions on coming from a place of kindness. Speaking kind words, thinking kind thoughts, and acting and reacting in kind ways. Our goal is to radiate kindness. Use the everyday opportunities in your life to come from a place of kindness, I encourage you to start at home. What better place to practice your efforts of guiding your thoughts so that your actions can come from a place of kindness?
The exercises were to pick at least one of the following to help you incorporate this week’s focus in our life:
- Think kind thoughts so that kind actions will follow
- Accept and release thoughts that aren’t kind and replace them with kind thoughts
- Use everyday opportunities to practice acting out of kindness
- React with kindness especially when it’s hard to
- Be more kind to those you live with
- Be more kind to those you work with
- Be more kind to those around you
- Be kind in thoughts, actions, and words
The guidance at the beginning of the week prompted us that kindness comes in many forms: courteousness, generosity, thoughtfulness, sympathy, empathy.
This week’s challenge reminded me how solitary freelance writing is. I didn’t really have much interaction with the public. There’s no one that I work with. And at home, it’s only my spouse and I – and we’re usually kind to each other already.
There was one brief incident that was interesting. Last week, in Week Two, I mentioned stopping in Dollar Tree and how the company was participating with a food drive for a local food bank. It caught me by surprise when I checked out. Naturally I said yes, I’d love to participate, and the cashier picked out a can of green beans for me. Seventy nine cents. I can live with that. But as I drove away…I wished I’d purchased more.
Thursday morning I was going see my granddaughter and I drive right past Dollar Tree. I had six dollars that I stuck in my jeans pocket. As I entered the store, I asked if they were still participating in the food drive. They were, so I grabbed a hand held basket and headed straight for the food aisle.
As I browsed the shelves, I heard the door ding and the cashier greeted another customer. I picked out two packages of cookies first, thinking that treats may be something that the people don’t get a lot of. Then I added a few cans of soup and vegetables until I figured I was just over five dollars.
I walked up to the register just as a gentleman was finishing up his check out. The cashier asked if he’d like to donate to the food bank and his response was a prompt ‘No’.
My items were next as the gentleman ahead situated a few items in his bags before leaving. I told the cashier, “These are all for the food bank, so don’t put them in a bag.”
I got a huge grin from her. The other customer’s head flew up and he turned around, as if surprised. She rang me up, gave me some change and started putting the food bank stickers on the items. I followed the man out of the store and he looked again, clearly seeing me walk out a receipt in my hand but no bags. He didn’t say anything, but he appeared slightly perplexed.
I’m only sharing the story, not to share about the donation, because that was really a very small thing. But seeing the other customers reaction still stays in my head. I wonder if he’ll donate the next time he’s in the store and they ask him. I hope so. I hope this was a small seed in someone else’s live that will germinate and spread more kindness.
It just gives me pause to think – maybe our kindnesses affect more than the ones they’re meant for. Maybe there’s others that see our actions and maybe we will influence someone in a way that we’ll never know.
I never will know. So…I’ll just keep doing what feels good and right for me, and I’ll keep connecting with like-minded people in the community of kindness.