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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

K is for Kindness; it is its own reward

 Kindness is its own reward and I'll tell you why.

A friend posted this on Facebook: 
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~Leo Buscaglia
This forced me to remember a time a while back. It's been about ten years now, but it shall always stick with me and I'll tell you why.

 An elderly man came up to me in the produce section of a supermarket in town. I didn't know him, but he approached tentatively. I smiled then turned back to the fruit in front of me, mangos. The man looked at the mangos with a creased brow. 

"Are they any good?" he asked. 

"Oh, my favorite fruit! Someone once described the taste like a fruit cocktail all in one fruit." I laughed. "I don't quite think that, but it's super yummy and sweet, if you get a really good one. These look good so I'm hopeful. You really ought to try one," I said, then I turned around and gave him the nicest one I found, popped it into a bag and handed it to him. 

He gaped incredulous that:
#1- I would bother to answer him.
#2- that I would hand over the best one I found. 

"Most people around here ignore you if they don't know you," he said to me.

"Oh, yeah! Don't I know that. Well, you know what? I'm not from around here!" I said, laughing again.

"You're so nice," he said incredulously.

"Well, why not? Doesn't hurt anything, does it?" I replied.

He smiled, thanked me and walked away with his first ever mango. I got the feeling he'd force himself to like that mango just because I was so unexpectedly kind to him. I sensed I had possibly made his day and perhaps made him a tiny bit less lonely, if only for a minute.

That was when I learned this lesson.  You can touch someone, even  strangers, not only with your fingers, hands or arms, but with the heart. Random acts of kindness truly do work to make life endurable and the world a better place.

So, be kind and generous with smiles and giggles. It is, after all, its own reward.

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