We all have to admit kindness feels good, not only to the receiver but also to the giver.
I recently traveled out of the country for the first time with 5 of my siblings. Before traveling outside the country I knew their were language differences but it was never a part of my life. I always understood directions that were being given wether orally or written. I knew how to pronounce the words I saw. I could find my way around pretty much anywhere. If I couldn’t I just asked someone.
Now suddenly I find myself in Europe. In London I can understand what is being said, but Paris – a different story. They say the next stop on the train and it doesn’t sound at all what it looks like. The interesting thing about Paris is that the people aren’t super friendly if you don’t try to speak French. However when you great them in French they most likely will communicate with you in English. But walk up to them and greet them in English and they will pretend they don’t know English.
That said we did have one amazing encounter in Paris. We walked into a bakery and greeted the lady behind the counter with “bonjour”, then switched to English. She was so helpful and friendly. Yes, one word in their language makes a difference.
But then we go to Holland. We took a train from Paris to Amsterdam, then from Amsterdam to Holland. On the way to Holland we got confused because their was a section of the railroad that was down. A kind lady, noticing our confusion, started speaking English to us right away asking us where we were going. She told us we need to get off the train, take a bus to the next train station, then get back on the train. She told us to follow her and she would get us where we need to go. She was going on the same bus and told us she would make sure we get a seat in the same bus as she does. After getting off the bus she made sure we knew which train to take next and that we had the tickets we needed. We proceeded to the train and she went on her way.
And then Ireland… We walked up to the Library of Kells. Just before we stepped into the door a very friendly worker greeted us. We talked to him a bit then walked inside. At the ticket desk another man greeted us. He asked us where we were from and was joking around with us. Then he asked who was paying and my brother stepped up and handed him the credit card. The ticket agent looked at it then handed it back. He gave us a ticket, but we were super confused because we hadn’t paid yet. My brother asked if we weren’t going to pay for it. The ticket agent showed him the bottom of the receipt (which had $0.00 on it), he said “Here’s what you need to pay just go in and have a good time.” (Later on we found out that Irish people like to work the system and pride themselves on being friendly.)
Why am I sharing these stories? Because kindness matters. The lady at the train station could have just explained to us that we need to get on the bus then left. She could have walked past us confused American tourists. But she didn’t. She noticed, she stopped, she helped. She made sure we get to where we need to be. Kindness Matters!
The ticket agent could have just looked at us as another customer, but he didn’t. And he definitely made our day! Kindness Matters!
It might seem like a small act you are doing. Maybe it’s just giving someone a cup of water. Maybe it’s telling someone their doing fine. Maybe it’s helping someone figure out how to get tickets. Maybe it’s baking a pie for the neighbor. Maybe it’s making your families favorite meal. Maybe it’s just listening. Whatever it is kindness matters.
A kind lady, whom I will probably never meet on earth again, blessed my day. A friendly gentleman, made me feel welcome. Now how can I bless another’s day by being kind? I can’t help but wonder how that lady felt knowing she helped a confused group of people. Or how the ticket agent felt seeing our shock. I sincerely hope and pray they felt blessed and that they will be rewarded in some way, because kindness not only affects the receiver, but also the giver.
In a world where you can be anything be kind.