Last week, my friend Sue sent me a message filled with kind and loving words completely out of the blue. She said she had been thinking and feeling these things, and her mother had always told her, "If you're thinking something nice about someone, tell them!"
It just so happens this has been on my mind a lot lately the last year. I often will be thinking something in my head about another person, something really lovely, but then the moment passes and I'm on to other thoughts. But I'm learning that it's really worth it to stop and express those thoughts when they come.
About a month ago, Troy and I were eating lunch in a very busy restaurant in the Seattle airport. Our waitress was clearly harried, rushing about. I was staring at her because she looked so pretty to me. She was Asian, pale skin and bright red lipstick, and her black hair was pinned up with a cluster of bright red roses. As she rushed past me, I said, "Excuse me..."
"Yes?" She looked stressed.
"I just wanted to tell you that you look so lovely with your flowers in your hair."
She looked surprised and embarrassed, and mumbled, "Oh...thank you." She managed a little smile and went on with her work.
About ten minutes later, she came back to our table and said, "You know, I was really having a bad morning, but when you said that, my whole day turned around."
And then I felt great, so the idea of expressing your positive thoughts? Sue's mom was on to something. HUGE win/win.
This week is Random Acts of Kindness Week. (Why just one week? Why not Random Acts of Kindness LIFE?) I decided to be a kindness ninja. I am secretly posting these on people's car windshields. It took me 5 minutes to make them, and will take me 5 seconds to put them on a windshield as I'm out and about each day. I'm going to get my son Evan involved, too. I think it will be great fun and a good lesson for him. And I'm going to make extras to carry in my purse all year long.
I remember once, years ago, I was returning a shopping cart to the front of a store, and a woman who was standing there said, "Thank you for doing that. You are a good person." It was such a small, silly thing but my eyes welled up. It was just really nice to hear someone say "You are a good person"- even though she was a complete stranger. It meant a lot to me and I never forgot it.
It is so easy to participate in Random Acts of Kindness week (or life). It can be as simple as saying a kind word, holding a door open for someone, making a phone call, sending a card. As the great Maya Angelou once said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
I'm posting my RAK each day on twitter (https://twitter.com/hollyedexter) Follow me and post your own acts of kindness with the hashtag #RAKweek2015.