Kindness Counts

Most of us have an innate desire to positively influence the lives of others.  How that is achieved depends on opportunity, circumstances, timing, and approach for sure.   The most critical element may well be "heart."

The kindness of the Police Officers and Firefighters of Hurst, TX calls to mind another similar story.

Valentine's Day was tomorrow.  Billy was furiously penning the 20 or so cards his mother had bought earlier and hastily stuffing them in their respective envelopes.  Among his greetings:  "Thanks for being my friend,"I like sharing my lunch with you," and "You sure are a good baseball player."

The next morning as he exited the bus in front of his elementary school Billy limped to the school's entrance, almost trampled by the other more agile kids.  He steadfastly held to his box of cards, though, firmly cradling them in both arms.  As he entered the classroom, Billy awkwardly assumed his spot in his specially designated area.

Math, Social Studies, Science, then a solitary lunch, followed by Reading and finally Art comprised most of his hours.  As the school day drew to a close Billy's teacher allowed that all students were released to exchange Valentine's cards with their classmates.  Billy proudly placed a card on each desk and then returned to his chair.  Soon came the final dismissal bell.

Billy was empty handed when he arrived home after getting off the bus.  As he was greeted by his mother he spoke the words, "not a one."  As mom's tears began to well up, however, she was surprised by her young son's exuberant countenance.  He repeated, "not a one, I made sure that everyone got a card from me."

Our world can be cruel.  Words are sometimes harsh, actions connote indifference.  Messages reinforce the rewards for being the best looking, most popular, wealthiest.  In the midst of this desert of self-absorption still lies an oasis of humility and kindness to fulfill that desire to make a difference.  Maybe it's as simple as spending some moments with a shut in neighbor.  Food banks can use a helping hand.  The school systems are always on the lookout for adult mentors.  An impromptu opportunity may exist as it did for certain protective service employees in Texas.

Or perhaps we can learn from young Billy.  More often than not when rejected we react quite negatively.  Instead Billy responded in kindness.

I don't know if his classmates ever came around and accepted Billy.  What we do know is that Billy accepted himself for who he was and what he did for others.  The payback is satisfaction from selfless acts.  It's a lesson we can all take to heart at work and in our personal lives:  kindness counts.


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