You Have 2 CHOICES You Can Either Be Kind or Be Mean…
I am a HUGE fan of being kind regardless of the situation. Believe me I get it sometimes people can be MEAN. Personally, I have made the choice to be kind even if kindness isn’t reciprocated. To me it doesn’t feel good to treat people mean even if I’m having a terrible day. Whether its the cashier at Target, the receipt checker at Costco or the lady at the window handing me my coffee from Dunkin Donuts you betcha I’m going to be kind and thankful. Simply put kindness matters a lot and it’s definitely a choice. You can choose to be kind or you can be mean.
Perhaps my attitude choice is a direct result of the years I worked in retail. Everyone has a story and you just never know what chapter of their life they are on. I’ve chosen to extend grace… long before I even knew exactly what this meant. I just know that’s what Jesus would have me do.
I met all kinds of people working customer service at both a local Walmart and Gander Mountain. Granted this was about 15 years ago and I was a lot younger and a whole lot less jaded. I noticed something while working those long shifts dealing with one person after the next, most days non-stop. Some people are really sweet and some people despite being nice to them are just mean. Look, I get it sometimes life isn’t fair. Sometimes people are going through hard things. I get it and that’s exactly why I choose to be kind. Admittedly sometimes its easier than others to be nice. There are definitely situations that may be challenging… I definitely get that. I have many stories from working retail. Grace upon grace you guys…
January was ROUGH for our Family Health-wise…
We have been spending a lot of time at the Doctors Office these days. Three weeks ago my daughter Addy came down with an ear infection that landed her in Urgent Care on a Sunday. Since then we have been to the Doctors a minimum of 4 times. We’ve been dealing with an onslaught of sickness to include ear infections, the flu and pink eye. I felt like for the month of January we couldn’t win. Needless to say Spring couldn’t get here fast enough.
On Tuesday I took the kids out of school early to get their annual physicals at our pediatricians office. I almost cancelled because doctors offices are full of germs. My children were all finally fever free! The thought of another round of sickness is not even funny at this point. I carefully timed everything out giving myself more than enough time to get the kids, grab some gas near the kids school and make our way to the doctors by 10 minutes to 2.
The Waiting Room
We had been waiting about 5 minutes at this point when a woman came in. If I had to guess her appointment was probably at 2 as well judging by the sigh of relief she let out when she sat down with her little guy. The little boy was cute. Judging by his size, quickness and gibber gabber speech he had to of been one. It was at this point that the lady motioned to me and said, “I remember when he was just a baby” pointing to Lukey as she continued on, “my have your kids gotten big.” Wait what?! Who is this lady?! Clearly she wasn’t talking to me, I had no recollection of her.
Shock must have been what the woman saw all over my face. I’ve never been a good “hider of emotions.” I politely thanked the woman and she proceeded to share where she knew us from. It turns out that the woman worked at the local Sam’s Club that we used to frequent. She remembered when I was pregnant with Lukey and when he was just a peanut in an infant seat almost 4 years ago! I smiled and thanked the lady for her kindness and asked her if it was a good thing or a bad thing that she remembered us? She laughed and said “yes, it’s a good thing.” The lady next to me at this point was chuckling at our interaction.
Relief and Delight
I felt two things after speaking to this woman one of relief and the other of humbled delight at the kind words of a stranger. Honestly I was holding my breathe while waiting to hear if the fact that this woman knew us was either a good or bad thing. Even the best of kids have their moments. We all have been in a store when our toddler goes in to full on meltdown mode. Sometimes I even have to speak to my older kids to be good… they aren’t immune to store shenanigans. It was so nice to hear that this lady remembered my family and that she chose to speak kind words to me about my family.
It was a simple interaction in the doctors office that made me want to write this post. What a wonderful reminder that the work that we put in to our children does not go un-noticed. Kindness matters. I was encouraged by this woman and I was able to use this moment as a teaching moment with my children. As we were pulling away from the Doctors office I asked my kids a simple question that didn’t even need answered because we just walked through the sweet exchange together. We are kind because kindness matters. What is the chance that a woman would remember me and my family even 4 years later?!
In raising children I have learned that: 1) they are listening, 2) they are learning and 3) they WILL model what they see. Because of these learned facts, the importance of modeling kindness is incredibly important. Kindness matters.