I knew a sweet, somewhat quirky coworker a few years back. She was a bit younger and had worked at the job for many years. She was the first person to talk to me when I first was hired. I recall her telling me that being kind is her priority. It struck a chord with me because it was unique to hear. Kindness is so important but rarely came up as a value in “everyday life.”
When I consider kindness in current times, my mind automatically drifts back to her and how she was a role model in kindness. While I strive to be kind, it doesn’t usually happen when I am stressed. I am still learning how to forgive myself for how my stress sometimes manifests. While I cannot undo behavior, I keep working on doing better and being kind when I can. Today’s post is about two recent situations where strangers were incredibly kind and thoughtful to me. Considering the chaos on planet Earth, it is noteworthy when grace is in the house.
The best part of the Longest Wednesday:
About two weeks ago I had to take my car to the dealership to address a recall and a leak in the car that was causing mold. Waiting for hours in a crowded dealership with nothing to do on a particularly hot , muggy day was not where I wanted to be . But there I was. I was anxious about COVID as most people were unmasked and I am unvaccinated. Plus I was very bored. When the time came to get the car, I took a look inside and saw that the mechanic did not address an issue with the door on the driver’s side. I was upset about this because I was very specific about the problem and I had waited a long time. The service person was patronizing and I did not react well. He decided to get the manager. He was very patient and understanding. He offered to take a look at the door and show me how to avoid leaks in the future ( a long and uninteresting process. ) He went back to his office and got hooks and proceeded to fix the door. It was about 95 degrees outside and I needed to go back inside. He took about half an hour working on the car by himself and charged me nothing. As I watched him toiling on the heat, I was amazed. I had hoped he would ask the mechanic to take a look but not for him to personally make it right. His generosity blew me away. I thanked him , but I did not think I could say enough to get my point across.
New Girl 2.0 :
Some of my readers know we moved around a lot growing up. I was lived in 4 states from age 7 through 11 and was in two fifth and sixth grade classes across Pennsylvania and Connecticut. I was the perpetual new girl and this role carried plenty of baggage. I recently announced that I have a new job as a therapist for a group practice. There are only six of us located in two locations in PA. While most of us work from home, some of the therapists spend a few hours at an office. A few days ago the owner emailed me about a training opportunity for couple’s therapists. He forwarded me the original email sent to him by a colleague who was doing the training. In the email she says that she has an extra ticket for the webinar and that she thought Linda could join us. I can save her a seat and we can all watch together. I wrote her back and became apparent that this was a gesture to include me in the group and to meet me. As a group we all work very independently. Most therapists have little time to hang with coworkers in a private practice setting. The fact that this person who has never met me was thinking of me and wanted to include me touched my heart. Here I am the new girl once more, seeing how or if I fit into a group of strangers during a very strange timeline. I was floored that someone who doesn’t even work at my location was thinking of me. I let her know how much I appreciated this gesture, but again, words were insufficient.
Kindness is precious and can be rare. It feels so wonderful to be treated with kindness and respect on a planet that seems to be imploding with division and hate. The other day I was presented with an opportunity to go an extra mile for a Facebook friend who wants to move to my neighborhood. I did what I could to see if a unit was available in my complex because it was her first choice. She has made an application and is very excited. Paying it forward is important to me and I intend to do this more often. I tend to be myopic when I am ill or getting acclimated to a new job. But I can do better. It may not be sexy but kindness is awesome. Imagine if it became the norm. What a great way to use one’s power and agency. Have a great week!