Questioning My Kindness Quotient?

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, July 14, 2014

BK be kind 1 Thess

Questioning My Kindness Quotient?

Today was a pretty average day, as far as typical days go. Nothing particular to write home about, unless I count email correspondence, several telephone calls, a couple of phone messages, a few conversations, and stops at a couple of businesses on the way home. Upon reflection, it does sound average to me.

Except—one of these interactions struck me as a bit uncomfortable. I stopped at a business later in the day, and asked a question about the transaction before I paid the bill. The cashier seemed a bit testy in response. As I completed the transaction, I noticed the coolness of the cashier, avoidance of eye contact, and minimum of chit-chat.

I reflected on that interaction, after dinner. I was wondering about it. Almost troubled, but not quite. (And that was interesting to me, too.) I replayed the words I said and the actions I took, in my mind. I didn’t find anything particularly disturbing in my words. I didn’t think I had been abrupt or mean in my attitude or my manner, either. Upon considerable reflection, I don’t think my words or actions were upsetting. At least, I don’t think so.

On second thought, it could have been something about the cashier. Something going on in their life, or a bad experience at work. Or even, a health concern for them or for a loved one. In other words, it might not have been about me, after all.

So, I may not have been a kind, loving, caring person, at least as far as this interaction on the way home is concerned. Or, contrariwise. As I said before, I am unsure whether others are keeping up their end of the social contract. But as long as I do my best, and keep my side of the street clean, I hope that will take care of my end of things.

A wise woman remarked a number of times (in my hearing) that “Ninety percent of what happens to you is none of your business.” Very true! I really appreciated her wise words. Now, alas, she has gone on to eternity. I want to be a good example of being kind and helping people. Why not try to keep my side of the street clean?

God willing, I’ll get an extended opportunity to continue trying to be kind, be helpful, and be of service. Thanks, God! Help me follow Your wish for me to be willing, honest and open.


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Example of Kindness and Caring

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, July 13, 2014

BK definition of kindness

Example of Kindness and Caring

Sometimes, people follow those who are good examples. Those whose lives exemplify some trait or quality they would like to have. Or, have more of.

When I was young (I’m talking grade school here), I attended a Lutheran church on the northwest side of Chicago. The church was about seven blocks from my house. I would willingly walk both ways, to and from the church. But occasionally—especially in inclement weather—I would appreciate a ride home after morning service. Mrs. Pabst would take me home. She was the parish visitor, a volunteer position in the church, but one that many of the members and friends appreciated so much. She would visit the homebound parishioners, those who were hospitalized, and those in retirement and rehab centers.

Mrs. Pabst was an active senior, a widow who lived just a few blocks from my house. She and my mother had been acquainted for some years, and my mother thought Mrs. Pabst was a very kind, very caring individual. Mrs. Pabst also talked kindly to me, on occasion.

I vividly remember this situation. I must have been about eleven. Going to church on my own, as I usually did. It was the winter, because people were all bundled up. I remember being shy and hesitant to say that I had done something. (I cannot, for the life of me, remember what it was . . . ) Mrs. Pabst took me home after church that morning and spoke to me in her kindly way. She told me it was all right for me to take pride in my accomplishments. It was okay for me to own up to being responsible for something. Take ownership of, or point to something I had done. In other words, I could blow my own horn! Really, it was the good and honorable thing to do, and even pleasurable for me to do this!

This advice came from one of the kindest and most caring women I had ever known. Instead of being shy and retiring, hesitant to own up to any worthwhile activity or action I did, Mrs. Pabst helped me to see that I could, indeed, proudly let people know that I was the one responsible. It was okay. Even more than okay, sometimes. Just great, in fact!

I happened to think of this very kind lady today, as I remembered the words I used in a recent conversation. I gave myself as an example. I was self-deprecating and apologetic in my conversation with my friend, but I did point to myself. Tell my friend that I try to follow the right, Godly thing to do. Even now, decades after the advice given to me by Mrs. Pabst, I still am somewhat hesitant to blow my own horn. But as the years pass, I am getting more and more self-confidence. I do know that I am a worthwhile person and God’s creation. So are you! You, and I, and every other person made is a much beloved creation of God, and of infinite value to God. This is good news! Correction: this is great news!


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