What did I do this week that was kind? Um, no. I am not gonna write about any kind thing I may or may not have done.
“Why not?” You
Maybe my perception of behaving kindly reflects my parents’ generation and their admonitions:
“Don’t brag.” “Don’t fish for compliments.” The Greatest Generation
I do kind things out of the goodness of my heart, and I think telling people about the kind things I do diminishes the goodness of my heart. It’s fine if nobody else feels that way, but I do, and hey, I’m the one I have to live with.
But because of something that happened yesterday, I have a single exception I’m willing to make to share a single story.
It’s Election Season in the USofA. You know those everyday people who volunteer to cold call local members of their party to try and secure support for their candidate? The good citizens who are maligned and hung up on like telemarketers who call at dinner time? One of them called my house yesterday, asking to speak to my son, who wasn’t home.
A little background. I have a land line. (I have a cell phone, too, but I don’t give that number to many people at all, not for my business and certainly not for people who want to sell me things.) My land line is hooked up to an answering machine, and the machine is on 24 hours a day. This is my outgoing message:
“Hi. This is Sue’s voice. If we’re available, and you stay on the line, someone will pick up the phone. If not, leave a message. If you don’t hear from us by tomorrow, give us another call.” My voice on the answering machine.
Both my numbers are on the National Do Not Call List, but I still get pre-recorded robo calls for carpet cleaning, hey-you’ve-won-something-that-will-only-cost-you…, and programs that will somehow improve my house or my life. And lots of hang-up calls. Sigh. But Election Season calls about the candidates are exempt from the Do Not Call List restrictions, so I’ve heard several candidate endorsement recordings and I really don’t mind.
The call that came in yesterday was a living, breathing young woman, wanting to give my son her pitch on why her candidate was the right guy to put on the City Council. I listened for a few seconds and decided I could save her some time and thankless effort. I picked up the phone.
“Hi! Brylan’s not here right now, but I thought I’d just tell you that we filled out our ballots today to mail them in, and we both voted for your guy.” I actually used his name, but you don’t need to know it.
“Oh!… Really?… That’s great! Thank you!” Very excited young woman doing a thankless job.
The gratitude in her voice brought tears to my eyes.
Whatever goodness came from my heart to perform that simple little human interaction was more than returned. And that’s the only reason I feel okay sharing this with you — I received more than I gave, so now I have a little goodness to spare.
How do you feel about mentioning the kind things you do? Is it easy for you, or do you keep them to yourself? I’d really like to know.
You can learn more about Niki’s Kindness Challenge at The Richness of a Simple Life.
Photo credit: Colin Thomas