First Sunday Kindness, on Tuesday

When Jane LaFazio asked me to join First Sunday Kindness Chronicles, it was exciting. So far, I have messed up both Sundays. It’s not like the first of April wasn’t clearly placed on the calendar, I simply forgot.

Lucky for me, the kindness is easy to remember and report.

A few weeks ago, I went to REI in Paradise Valley, North of Phoenix. I bought a pair of running shoes (REI and Nordstrom are the only two place that will actually help me find a pair of shoes for my odd-size feet) looked longingly at iPad covers (I loved the waterproof ones, odd for someone who lives in Phoenix, with an annual rainfall of 8 inches). I left the store with my shoes and feeling of dread, which I attributed to the cost of the shoes.

When I got home, I wanted to phone CookingMan and determine supper details, and discovered my cell phone is missing. I had a sudden realization that I was helpless–without a landline, I can’t make a phone call. It’s like being Amish, or in another century.

This leaf blew into my pool. None of the trees around my neighborhood (palms, citrus, jujube, palo verde, fig) have these leaves. I don't know where it came from, and if I had not gone out into the yard to watch the dawn, I would have missed it. Kindess is random, too.

I ran to the laptop to turn off and lock the phone–there’s an app for that. Unfortunately, they had assigned me a password that wasn’t the one I remembered. The app was helpful and immediately texted the password to . . . my phone.

While deciding which neighbor would think me less crazed if I asked to borrow their phone to call the store, I saw my cell phone already in the hands of a faux Nigerian prince using my phone to promise millions for transferring funds.

I reached REI and they asked if I knew where I’d left the phone. Tucked into the back pocket of the iPad cover, I knew. The woman on the phone found it. She would leave it in customer service, she said. When I arrived an hour later, it was there. I offered a reward that the customer service person refused. I asked to speak to the woman who found it and she said, “I’ve done the same thing. I can’t take money for doing what someone else did for me.”

That’s the thing. Kindness passed on grows and spreads. That’s the point.

A few weeks ago, I taught the class for the under-served, the one to help people find jobs. One of the participants was angry and combative. He interrupted often and told me I didn’t understand what they were going through. Although I have a pretty good idea, I did not correct or try to fix him. I honored his anger, but spoke to him privately about his disruptive behavior.

Last Friday, while I was teaching the class again, he burst into my class. I had a flash of fear, as he’s a big guy that I know is angry. He spoke to the class and said, “Listen to her. She will tell you a story about riding a motorcycle and what that has to do with your future. Listen to it. I heard it and thought it was bull****, but it turned out to be true for me. I have a job!” He then picked me up (no mean feat), and twirled me around. I had him tell the motorcycle story, and everyone applauded him. My hero of the week.

What can you do to pass on joy? Well, Bonnie Neubauer has a great idea called JoyRox. Read about it and smile. It’s a good way to spread joy.

Quinn McDonald fights anger with kindness. It’s hard at first, then gets (dare she say it?) to be fun.

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6 responses to “First Sunday Kindness, on Tuesday

  1. I am so glad for you and the big guy :D

  2. I love love love the story of the burly guy, and have the image in my mind of him twirling you around. Fabulous! and such a great (and public) reminder of the difference a teacher can make, and not always realize it, or realize which of your students you are really affecting….

  3. Years ago, when I was feeling overwhelmed, had far to much going on in my mind and couldn’t shut it up, I used to get out a pack of cards and play solitaire. One night I suddenly realised that just as everything could change with the turn of one card, so too could my life – one action and everything can change. I just needed to focus on what I wanted.
    I didn’t play solitaire any more.
    In all things, look to where you want to go – and then take the step. Trust, and keep your eye on the prize.

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