Compliments—How Kind! (Thank You!)

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, September 17, 2014

GRATEFUL always something to be grateful for

Compliments—How Kind! (Thank You!)

Today was Wednesday, as usual. I mean, usual midweek bible study. I enjoy teaching! I love the bible study group that gathers each week in the choir room at church. And, I am so glad I found the bible study on the names and titles of Jesus (an older study, published by NavPress).

I missed meeting for regular bible studies midweek, in July and August. Of course I understood why the group did not continue meeting over the really hot months of the summer. Certainly! But, there was something missing from my week. Some connection, some personal interaction. Sure, I continued to call people, and do hospital and home visitation, but it wasn’t the same. Not like getting together and sharing like we do on Wednesdays. (And Sundays, too! I don’t want to forget about the wonderful sermon discussion bible study after church service. Such great insights there, as well!)

But this post is specifically about what happened today.

As we went around the table to check in with people and see what was happening, we came to the next person. This lovely senior began to sincerely compliment me. I had served her family at a critical time recently, and she wanted to thank me and tell me how much she appreciated me. Publicly. I was so grateful—and surprised and pleased, too. I told her of my gratitude and expressed my thanks to her.

Several more people had their turns, then. We heard several more prayer requests, had a few more laughs, and—came to another earnest senior. This lady also praised me—for my teaching and group facilitation, this time. (I know I enjoy teaching, but—wow!) She sincerely complimented me, thanked me, and expressed her appreciation for my clarity in communication. (Again—wow!)

You could have knocked me over with a feather. Of course, I thanked her and accepted the compliment, too. I was—and still am—so moved by both of their grateful expressions. So wonderful! I am still hugging these very kind words to my heart, believe me. Such good words of approval encourage me and build me up, you can count on that.

Long ago, I remember reading in an article (I believe it was in Psychology Today) that compliments create positive energy. I am used to giving compliments. In fact, I love to see the good aspects of people, and mention that to them. I am less used to receiving compliments.

I sincerely hope I was gracious in receiving the kind, generous compliments today! Sure, they created positive, loving energy, all around the table. Such a wonderful gift for the whole bible study today, too. God willing, I hope this good feeling and positive energy lasts for a good long time. (Thank You again, God!)

@chaplaineliza

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My Son and I—Being Kind Together?

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, June 3, 2014

BK kindness let me do it now

My Son and I—Being Kind Together?

There we were—in conversation with one another. (Rare circumstance now, that we should be in the same room together long enough to actually have a conversation!)

My son knows about this blog. (As he might ironically say, “Duh, Mom! Of course I know about it!”) After all, I’ve just been involved in this being-kind-thing for five months now. Anyway, he and I talked about my efforts to be kind and to take opportunities to be of service, and help others.

I acknowledge my religious affiliation. Yes, God (or if you like, my Higher Power) is a part of my motivation for this being-kind-thing. But, wait! There’s more! I have the definite feeling that God is pleased by my efforts to be of service to others. To be kind. My son had his own slant on this: he called it “light work.” He is exploring his own understandings of spirituality and God/Higher Power, and he is enthusiastic about my daily writing about being kind.

We had a lively, intellectual discussion this afternoon about how exerting positive energy (his term) helped a person to have a positive feeling/aura that emanated from them. (Again, his slant.) I agreed, and tried to say something similar to what he just said, but with a Christian understanding. We ended up agreeing that positive, beneficial feelings naturally came out of a person who was in the regular habit of being kind, helping others, and looking for opportunities to serve.

I gave him a specific example. I told him about our trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden two days ago. His father, sister and I went to enjoy the beautiful weather and even more beautiful floral and greenery displays. As the three of us walked toward a small bridge, we approached a family coming toward us. From my years and experience in the hospital, I identified them as Latino. Several women, some preschool or elementary aged daughters, and two men. The father (or maybe uncle?) pushed a toddler boy in a fancy plastic car with a long handle. (Bright blue, with red wheels and a red handle!) I made eye contact with the father and the boy as I came toward them. I smiled. The toddler looked up at me. Just as the man passed me, pushing the blue car, I looked down at the toddler. I smiled even more, bent over a little, and said, “Bueno!”

That was it. But the little boy started to smile! So did the adults. I straightened, made eye contact with the man and with the women again, and nodded my head as they passed us on the path.

My daughter and husband were several steps behind me. My daughter sighed. I heard my husband say softly to my daughter, “You might roll your eyes now, but eventually you will appreciate how your mom can instantly connect with people.”

This made me smile! All of it. My non-verbal interaction with the family on the bridge, my daughter’s subsequent sigh (and probable eye roll), and my husband’s comeback. But this was a wonderful example of being kind. Taking the opportunity to be friendly. Open, welcoming! Or as my son would say, practicing “light work.” God, thanks for the great opportunity! Help me be open to Your leading tomorrow, too.

@chaplaineliza

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