The 2013 kindness story begins…
I love stories–I love listening to them, I love telling them. And in any story the beginning is one of my favorite parts…it sets the stage, defines the tone. It can either grab the listener’s attention, or lose it all together.
As I started my 30 Day Christmas Challenge, I wanted my first act of kindness to be something extraordinary–something incredibly creative and special. I wanted to do something that would entertain and inspire all at the same time.
However, in reality, my first act of kindness was quite the opposite. There was no drama, no climactic exchange.
No, today’s act of kindness was focused on something very basic: warmth.
Living in Ohio my whole life, there’s a saying that all Ohioans know by heart: if you don’t like the weather here, just wait until tomorrow. Well, this past weekend the weather took a turn for the worse and temperatures dropped down to the twenties. With bitter gusts of wind and snow blowing in the air, my family spent most of the weekend inside. And when we did venture out and brave the cold, my husband would drop me and the kids off close to the entrance so we wouldn’t have to be outside any longer than needed. (I know, I’m spoiled.)
A new definition of romance…
Tonight my husband and I planned a romantic date night together; raising two little people, it’s a luxury that we don’t get as often as we’d like. We ate at my favorite restaurant, enjoyed wine, and had fun talking about other things besides Old McDonald and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
But my favorite part of our date was actually what we did next: before heading home, we made a quick detour for a shopping trip. After filling a few bags of winter essentials, we drove to the bus stop and covered a bench with a stash of blankets, hats, gloves, and scarves. And then we left.
And that was it. No dramatic incident. No interesting twist or shocking revelation. Nope–this act was very simple, but I hope to the person who finds these things…and needs them, this story will nonetheless be a happy one.
I heard something earlier this week that struck a cord in me about generosity: do you know what stops most people from being generous? It’s not what you think; you might guess greed…but you’d be wrong. The number one reason people don’t give more is fear. Fear of the “what ifs“. What if I lose my job? What if something bad happens and I need more? And while it’s obviously important to plan for these “what ifs”, sometimes they can paralyze us.
Over the next 30 days, I want to actually keep asking that little question, “what if”…just in a different way. What if I’m able to help someone? What if by showing just a little bit of kindness, I was able to make a difference? What if someone is out in the cold tonight and could use some gloves? What if?
While I believe the beginning of a story is important, so is the end. My Christmas Challenge is on once again. I’m not sure what will happen over the next 30 days, but it’s a story that I’m very excited to share–beginning, middle, and end.