Kindness in 2014

Recently our family took a vacation. I might add that it was one of the best vacations I have ever taken. On the way back to the airport, as I was gazing at the beauty of the country, the aqua ocean, the Clorox white beaches, the bright sun, and the hot pink flowers everywhere, I pondered what made this vacation different??? Was it the food? The scenery? The timing? The age of the children? The place I am in life? As we arrived at the airport for the return home, from the man that helped with directions for which line to step in, to the lady checking our bags, to the man who helped me with my bags, I realized it was the EXTREME KINDNESS I had experienced the entire week. Kindness from the people who were of assistance to me in the country I was in. Here I was finishing a week’s vacation and on New Year’s Day when many people were not working, I was experiencing happy, very cheerful people who were working! I started to count how many people told me Happy New Year. There were at least 20 people who cheerfully, with big smiles, greeted me first with a “Happy New Year!”

Funny, when I arrived back in the Atlanta airport, I received not one “Happy New Year,” unless I said it first. The attitude of the place where I had been was VASTLY different than what I found coming home. I do not know exactly why that is? I love America and all that this country has provided and given to me. I love America for its freedom and the principles which our country was founded on, but I am very embarrassed by the contrast I witnessed firsthand.

The take away from my experience is that Kindness is contagious and can “brighten” someone’s day. The contrast has made me keenly aware of the power we all posses in being kind; it is a choice. It is not hard and takes very little effort to smile and be cheerful. It made me come straight home and find the little book I read last year entitled, “The Power of Nice” by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval. I love the story the book opens with about a man named Frank who was a doorman for an office building in New York City. Frank was a cheerful man who understood and lived being kind. Frank embraced each day with kindness. Not just saying, “Good Morning!” but he said things like, “Happy Friday!” and gave sincere compliments when warranted. His reputation and countenance on the most dreary and cold of days was the same, KIND! The story continues with how Frank was credited one day when the company landed one of the biggest accounts in the company’s history and the client who made the final decision gave Frank the credit. The executive explained that it came down to two very competitive companies and the difference maker was that they had to pick the company who must be better because their “doorman” was even enthusiastic, cheerful and kind! Frank’s Kindness was the difference maker!! The deciding executive commented, “All of a sudden, I thought how could I not want to work with a company that has someone like Frank? How can I feel anything but good about hiring an agency like that?” Don’t ever underestimate the POWER OF KINDNESS!!!!

I love Mark Twain’s quote, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see!”

I love the following scriptures:

1 Corinthians 13:4, “Love is patient, love is KIND……”

Colossians 3:12, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must CLOTHE yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, KINDNESS, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Ephesians 4:32, “Instead, be KIND to each other tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God in Christ forgave you.”

In 2014, Be KIND whenever possible; it is ALWAYS POSSIBLE! Don’t wait for other people to be KIND, SHOW THEM HOW!

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