A kindness mind-set

I was driving to work yesterday and stopped at a red light. In my rearview mirror, I saw a man get out of the car behind me and rush over to the truck to my right. Confused, I tried to figure out what was going on. Then I saw what he saw: a cell phone on the back bumper. The Good Samaritan picked up the phone and waved it in front of the driver’s side window. The driver of the truck rolled down the window and took the phone—grateful, I’m sure—as the man hurried back to his car.

It made me smile.

The kindness crusade my family and I completed last Saturday was a success—we committed 100 acts of kindness in a single day. And we weren’t alone. It was heartwarming to read the stories of others who joined in by performing their own good deeds. But it wasn’t just about that one day.

Watching the cell phone recovery reminded me of something a friend said at dinner the other night—how kindness is a mind-set and how, hopefully, all of my recent postings on the topic have kept kindness top of mind for many. This made me think of my neighbor (whom I know has been following my adventure in kindness). She recently told me a story about getting her nails done while sitting next to a 92-year-old woman doing the same. As this elderly lady shared some of her life story, my neighbor was inspired to pay for the woman’s manicure.

So while I’m proud of our accomplishment and happy we met our challenge on September 21, I think all the talk of kindness leading up to the event may have been the bigger win.

Over the years, when people ask how I get ideas for my writing, I say they often pop into my head spontaneously—but only if I’ve generally been thinking about the story. When we think regularly about kindness, I believe we’re more inclined to notice opportunities to be kind and to act on those impulses. Thank you to everyone who has done and will do something kind.

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