Sharing That Kindness Currency

Today I'm thinking about the power of kindness to create a win-win as 
we scurry through our days, our weeks, our months, and our years.

Earlier this week, my character cam caught these two second graders on the floor, one helping, the other being helped. Both engaging in a kind act. An exchange. I'm certain that both girls know how to tie their shoes. But the one friend wanted to help the other, and what a gift, really, to let your friend serve, 
to be on the receiving end of her loving kindness.

I've always heard it said that 
'tis better to give than to receive,
but I'm starting to wonder if, in the end, 
giving and receiving are sort of equal, 
just two different sides of the same 
see-a-need-fill-a-need kindness currency.

That kind of kindness starts with empathy, 
with noticing the needs of those around us.
Then it's about understanding,
about stepping in to one another's story
and trying on their shoes for a few steps.
About feeling how it feels to be them,
imagining what they might want,
what they might need.
Hanging out with them, 
without judgement,
willing to co-suffer
in that moment
of time
with them.

Regardless of what it is that they're going through.

Here's the thing about all of that:
It's not easy. At all.
None of it.
Not one little bit.

And if you're deeply invested,
it's not really free, either.

In fact, it could be
one of the most 
painful things
you'll ever do.
To hold space with someone.
Especially as they grieve the goodbye
of someone they've loved and lost.
I got to do that, just last week.
And it at once broke my heart
and made me feel grateful
for the chance to show them
they are not alone,
that I see them,
that I hear them,
that I've got their
hands and their heart.

It was a gift that I could be there
and it'll be a gift when someone is there
for me in my sorrow one day.

Kindness is a boomerang like that;
'tis a beautiful thing to give and to receive.

So don't wait another moment
to share that kindness currency with others.

Grab a group of friends and go caroling.
Treat a sanitation worker to a bottle of water.
Go visit someone in a hospital or rehab center.
Offer to help a neighbor put up their holiday lights.
Give a gift card to someone who has fallen on hard times.
Tape a load's worth of coins on a machine at the laundromat.
Invite a young person over to frost holiday cookies with you.
Check in with someone you haven't heard from in awhile.
Offer to make a craft with the kids at your local library.
Put some sweets in the mailbox for your mail carrier.
Make a meal for someone who has lost a loved one.
Invite a friend for a walk and talk or sit and sip.
Text or email someone an inspirational song.
Tie someone's shoes (or teach them to tie).

Or send someone a care package,
just to let them know you're thinking about them,
like this priority mail from the Hayes school family in OH. 

Trust me; it'll make someone's day merrier and brighter.

How will you spend your kindness currency this week?

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