Kindness costs nothing.
Simple as it sounds, that was the lesson I was reminded of most recently as I stopped into our office and received a call on our landline.
Truth be told, I work a lot remotely and communicate mostly via my cell phone from home, my car or local coffee shop. Catching me at my traditional desk space can be a rare occasion.
I offer this mainly because that was brought to my attention when I received the call of kindness late last week. The caller, a committed subscriber and reader (she shared) had made several attempts to reach me. If she left a voicemail it went to voicemail oblivion I’m certain because I never received them.
At any rate, the details of her kindness I’d rather keep private, for it is the lesson rather than the words which left me hanging up the phone and thinking … now that’s something to share.
Matter of fact, in speaking to the caller I actually shared with her she’d just inspired my next column. A space she shared she enjoys reading each week (hi caller – Wink. Wink.). She also shared she had set out to live her 2019 year passing grace and kindness to others whenever she felt it fit. That’s what prompted her call to me; I was a lucky recipient of her grace.
Days later, a girlfriend and I discussed the matter of trust and earning trust from others. As is customary with most of our conversations, it quickly took a turn and became a bit more analytical. My girlfriend, someone who knows me quite well, shared the perception (or misperception) some may have of me as being ‘fake.’
“I think your genuine happiness might confuse some people,” she said, “which is both odd and sad, but I guess in some ways I get it.”
As we talked, we commiserated over how hard some things are for unhappy people to grasp. That’s sad, right? Yet it’s real and if being completely truthful I get it. I was that unhappy person once.
Now sure not all days are happy, shiny, funny people days. I snap, crack and pop like any other human. But happiness for me, for the most part is intentional. I’ve shared before I’m a “bright side” person. I mean quite literally I’m the person who says, “on the bright side,” quite frequently.
I really became aware of this when I would hear my children say it quite regularly. A lesson learned early in parenthood is that children are indeed parrots. They learn what they see and they say what they hear. “Bright side” people I’ve learned have a tendency to either be appreciated or annoying to those who prefer the opposite.
My girlfriend also shared that perhaps the happiness could be perceived as fake to some. I mean, I don’t live a big, lavish, fancy life. Actually quite the opposite, but it’s a life which suits me quite well.
Oh sure, I could do without car problems, illness or other life challenges but that’s what makes the good days all the better. Yes, I actually believe that.
The point of all this is simply stated at the start of this space. How great this world would be if we each began our day with that in mind. If we woke and reminded ourselves to be happy for the privilege and blessings which surround us. And then ... quite simply channeled that happiness to give away kindness. Now that is the world I’ll strive to create for myself.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.