Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Warmth of Kindness

The last few days, since my post about New Year's resolutions, I've had kindness on my mind. Several years ago I went through about a two week period when everywhere I looked the word "kindness" was hitting me in the face. Every time I opened my Bible, a book, a magazine or any form of written word it jumped out as if in bold type. At that time I was still working full time at a bank and at the end of a particularly long hectic day, while driving home, I noticed the license plate of the car in front of me. You guessed it ~ it read "Kindness". Just that one word. And do you know, I saw that car everywhere I went for the next week or so! Now one has to finally say, "O.K. I get it. I'm supposed to sit up and take notice here."
During that time, my job entailed training new bank tellers. I began to make that the first order of business to teach each one of them. The importance of good old fashioned kindness. I told them to smile, be as pleasant as they could be and take an extra minute to chat with the customer. Most transactions at a bank don't take too terribly long and sadly enough it very well could be the only kind moment some people encounter on a particular day. It takes such a brief bit of our time and energy to be kind to the people around us. One never knows, maybe he or she just lost a loved one, got an upsetting diagnosis from the doctor, or is just plain lonely.

In any job the details can be taught and learned and performed mechanically day in and day out. But shouldn't there be so much more to us than that? I was thinking today of how those of us who work with yarn are constantly creating things to keep a body warm. I hope that in the meantime we are also cultivating the art of kindness, because nothing else warms the soul, spirit and heart of our fellow man quite like it.

That being said, I did crochet this shawl today, which will hopefully wrap its wearer in warmth!
"A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles."
Washington Irving
"To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life." Samuel Johnson

" I expect to pass through this life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." William Penn

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8


Becky said...

How true and so eloquently written. William Penn is right to remind us that often the window of opportunity to touch someone's heart is so short, we must not delay in doing it - or that window may close.
Love you!!

Kathy said...

So true, Danette. When ever I go into a store or to the bank or up to the school, if I am greeted with kindness I actually am taken back, and I start to feel good, and it is sad to me that we are actually surprised when a stranger is kind to us. This world is so busy and you never know when God might have put an angel your path of life just to test your kindness. I especially love to show kindness to old people they are the forgotten many times, and a smile will usually strike up a small conversation, because many times the elderly are lonely and a smile and a few minutes will mean so much to them. pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul,and health to the bones. Prov.16:24

Danette said...

You girls are right on!~ Love you both!!:)

Kathy said...

we love you too!

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

When I think of kindness I think of my father who is the brightest, strongest, and most brave man you will ever find. Kindness is a value which is one of those hard to define core family values that make us a great nation.

Your shawl will be so appreciated.

Danette said...

Thanks for sharing how you feel about your father. I am blessed just to hear it! May this nation always be full of such men and women.