Friday, April 12, 2013

Kindness of Strangers


Today’s A-to-Z Challenge letter is K for Kindness.

Living in a large metro suburban area filled with busy expressways, and crowded shopping malls, it seems most people here live “hyper-active” lives.  If you don’t have your kid signed up for 10 extra-curricular activities a week, don’t have yourself doing extra projects at work, and have not jam-packed your social calendar at home, well, those next-door neighbors will be proudly “one-upping” you the next time you commiserate across the backyard fence about your lives being so “busy, busy, busy.”

In our Information Age, it seems there are always too many blogs and websites to read, too many emails to manage, and too many tweets, text and instant messages to respond to.  When can we ever find the time to connect with each another for more than a nanosecond?  To pause thinking only of ourselves and our own needs, and genuinely express an act of kindness and concern to others—even to complete strangers?

The faster our society runs each year, the less likely these small acts of kindness would seem to occur.  Yet, this week, I’ve been incredibly overwhelmed by how kind people can be.   From the nurses who never left my mom’s hospital room before asking what they could do to also help me and my brother stay more comfortable, to the dozens of condolences we have received in the days since—most from people we’ve never actually met in-person.

This demonstrated to me that in the crazy-busy world we live in, it is still possible to carve out a few moments of time each day to express genuine kindness to others. Such simple (and free) gifts to give, yet so meaningful to the person receiving it.

I remember the movie “Pay It Forward” a few years ago having a strong impact on me, with it’s message that giving random acts of kindness to others and encouraging them to do the same, would ultimately return the kindness back to you one day.  I resolved to become a kinder more generous person.

If the death of a loved one can have any silver lining, it is this— to renew one’s faith in humanity.  The kindness “paid forward” to others, does indeed come back to you just when you need it the most.


  1. We forget that people are good. (At least I do). People do reach out in time of need. Until my parents died I didn't understand how very comforting simple & consoling words are. Thinking of you and your family.


  2. AMEN !!! Kindness is such a ray of sunshine to both give and receive ....


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