Of Being Kind and Keeping Quiet!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, May 13, 2014

try to control, can't enjoy anything

Of Being Kind and Keeping Quiet!

Ever get the feeling that you said too much? That you should have kept your mouth shut? That you would have been much better served if you had said nothing at all?

I got that message today, several times. Loud and clear!

First, as I met with a colleague, we had a regular, periodic meeting where we updated each other on the state of the workplace, the people we work with, and any coming events both of us need to be aware of. As we talked, I asked my colleague (an older and wiser person!) for some advice. And, I got some! Ears open, listen hard, and keep quiet! (It could very well have been “Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves,” but my co-worker did not say that. Not today, at least.)

Wise words. I listened to them, filed them away, and thanked my co-worker!

Again, later in the day, I ran into a friend of mine. We talked about a number of things. Lo and behold, I got the same (unsolicited) advice from my friend. Slightly puzzled, but still very much open to the advice, I considered what had been mentioned to me. Hmm.

After dinner, I went to a get-together. A group of friends and acquaintances met tonight near downtown. I greeted a good number of people I knew tonight. Including one person who told an interesting anecdote. She had taken a cab today, downtown. A work associate was in the cab with her. She was amazed to observe her associate tell the cabbie exactly how to drive. With great precision. Exactitude. And demanded that the cabbie comply.

As she watched the drama unfolding beside her, my friend felt something—inside of her—was the matter. Bubbling over. She didn’t know quite what it was, so she prayed. Asking God to help her calm down and stay in the moment. Not get all bent out of shape. She realized she was getting upset at how ridiculous her fellow rider was being. It was a victory for her (yay!). Previously, even a few years ago, she would have wanted to tell her associate exactly how ridiculous she thought their words and actions were! But now, it just stayed a want, a desire. Nothing came out of her mouth! Nothing that she might have wanted to take back. (Thank God!)

God, that’s three times today that You brought communication to my attention. Or rather, lack of communication. (I know, I know. “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”) As I said before, these are wise words! God, please help me to listen, and follow them. Help me to be an active listener AND a responsive, caring person. One who doesn’t let her mouth flap in the wind. Wise words, indeed!

@chaplaineliza

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(also published at ayearofbeingkind.wordpress.com Shortlink:

Being Kind—Telling People Stuff

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, April 6, 2014

be a blessing be a friend

Being Kind—Telling People Stuff

Tomorrow is the day. The day the contractor comes and starts deconstructing our bathroom. Well, not really down to the studs in the walls, but he will pull down the old, tired tile. I’m excited!

I found a medicine cabinet today. Finally! I have been looking for two weeks, and was really dissatisfied about ninety percent of the ones I saw. Scratch that—about two thirds of the ones I saw were absolutely unsuitable for our bathroom because of A) the size of the cabinet. Most of those left I couldn’t use because of B) the color of the trim. At last, I found one that would A) fit the space and B) had a usable silver edging. Success!

But that wasn’t the most fulfilling part of today. (Not that there weren’t several, other, fulfilling parts. There were!) No, one of the most enjoyable parts for me was a conversation I fell into, when I was in the do-it-yourself store. In the bathroom section while I was waiting for an associate to help me, a couple with a young toddler came pushing a cart down the aisle. They were looking for some bathroom fixtures.

The wife had a sincere question, and asked her husband. She stood, arms crossed, finger on her chin, frowning at the vanity in question.
Since I have been researching and looking at vanities and fixtures for the past two weeks myself, I knew the answer to her question. I excused myself for overhearing her. I gave them a quick, cordial response. Including the answer. They were both so pleased! And, they thanked me. The husband followed up with several other questions, and we had a brief, entertaining conversation. (I also admired their toddler. Adorable!)

If I hadn’t been searching for (and learning about) bathroom fixtures recently, I wouldn’t have known about the answer to this woman’s question. Sure, I suspect she and her husband could have waited for the store clerk to come along, but then we never would have fallen into such a pleasant conversation.

This is another instance of my being helpful. Not intentionally helpful, I don’t think. I mean, I did not go over the possibilities step-by-step in my brain ahead of time. But my intuition was urging me to go up to this woman. So, I did. As this urge, this feeling happened, I reacted. And went, and opened my mouth. Now sometimes, I just end up putting my foot in my mouth! Not this time, though.

God, I think this was altruistic action. Kindness in motion. And I think You were pleased because I’m trying to put my kindness to work. I took the opportunity to tell people stuff. And I had a great conversation with them, too. I could have totally missed this chance. I’m glad I didn’t turn away, and I’m glad I listened to my intuition. Or, was it Your Holy Spirit giving me a nudge? I wonder.

@chaplaineliza
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