It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Kindness Always Counts

I went running the other day.  My running has changed so much over the years and I love how I now have no expectations of speed, time or distance.  I am happy to be out there and enjoy nature.  I stop when I need to or take a walk break.  Aside from the cardio work-out it does wonders for my spirit and mood, in other words I literally  run off the stress !

My route is pretty familiar.  Maybe too familiar.  I could change it up but until it gets boring I will keep it the same.  There is log just off the route that I sometimes stop and sit on to rest or think.  It is always in the shade so on the hotter days its a great place for a break.  I never thought anything about it until the other day.  I stopped for a break, caught my breath and after a minute or two started running again.  By the way this path just happens to run parallel to the main thoroughfare of my community.  This woman slowed her car down, leaned out her window and asked if I was all right.   I sort of chuckled because if I am having a good day running I feel like a gazelle but having seen many photos of me running I know I just look like a regular person running.  Did this woman think I was struggling??  Maybe I don’t look “normal”?  Actually she stopped because she saw me sitting on the log and was checking up on me.

How nice I thought. I  reassured her I was fine and kept on running.  Then I saw something that made me so appreciative.  I saw her turn her car around.  She had actually driven past me when I was sitting, turned around and came back to check up on me.  She does not know me and I couldn’t tell you who she was or even pick her out of a crowd.  Wow!  I was blown away by her kindness and effort to check on me. It buoyed me up for the whole day.  In this world where everyone is in a hurry she took the time to turn around and possibly help someone.  She actually did help me.  She reminded me that people are truly good at heart and despite the news, ready and willing to help.

My father often did this.  It was obvious his love language was acts of service.  Even at 90 yrs of age he loved when it snowed.  He would fire up his snowblower and do his driveway and all the neighbors.  I have operated that thing and it is a beast.  How he did it at his age is remarkable.  He thrived when the power went out. With his generator up and running and the help of my mother he delivered hot coffee to all the neighbors without power and offered to have them come over for an impromptu gathering.

He was such a cornerstone to the neighborhood that when he died suddenly, my friend no longer felt her elderly parents who lived across the street were safe to live alone.  She actually told me ” I could always depend on your Dad to check on them and he was their safety net.  Now that he is gone they really need to move”.  My Dad would argue that wasn’t the case but it truly was.

Of course all my siblings will tell you that Dad did carry it to extremes.  Several times he stopped the car abruptly to save a box turtle meandering in the road.  And when I say stop  I mean a screeching halt like something was wrong and this was before seatbelts.  Still it makes me smile at his tender heart for all living things.

While  I don’t stop for turtles I do go out of my way to hold doors for people especially young Moms struggling with a stroller, a toddler and packages.  My favorite thing is to compliment someone just randomly.  I did this recently to an older gentleman who was walking slowly with his head down.  I caught his eye and told him I loved his beautiful green shirt ( it was lovely) and his face lit up and he smiled as he thanked me.  He walked a little quicker and with head up the rest of the way.

All of this is a reminder to slow down, check on your friends, neighbors and strangers.  Offer someone a compliment .  I have no idea who that gentleman was with the bright green shirt but I often remember that brief moment when his face lit up and it lifts me up.  In other words, acts of kindness benefit everyone.

Maybe the lesson comes from the turtles after all.  Slow down, take your time and look around and remember one small act of kindness can make a huge difference.

Now as always..go out and make it a thoughtful one. 🙂

One of my better running photos!

Related Articles:

Facebooktwitter