Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
Today is my oldest daughter’s birthday, my other daughter’s birthday was four days ago so for those four days they were the same age. They stayed close for all these years and are still the best of friends. Each has done extremely well professionally and is married to a really good hearted husband.
Of course we are proud of their accomplishments but the thing I value the most is their kindness. You see both go out of their way to help everyone they can, including my wife and me. They do an extraordinary amount of unsung volunteer work for others as they help to make positive changes in people’s lives.
I, like most parents, love my children and I also really like and respect them. Most of the credit for the good start they got in life must go to their mother as I was so engrossed in my job that she had the lead role in nurturing their childhood.
Many of us take pride in the traditional successes of our children, I know I do, but what impresses me the most is their warm hearts. My wife and I have been the beneficiaries of almost six decades of the joy given to us by our children.
One of the things I like most is their non-judgmental offering of help to those around them. Here is a story that could have been written about something they would have done.
The Nurse & the Patient
Not long ago I visited a friend in the hospital. When I walked into her room, she began complaining about the male nurse she had. She said he was forgetful, rude, short with her, and not very pleasant. When my friend left the room for her therapy, her nurse came in to change the sheets. I could see the pain and anguish on his face. I offered a few kind words about how much I appreciated his hard work and dedication. That opened the way for him to reveal the incredible hardship in his life. His wife still lived in South Africa and his two children had recently died from medical complications. He was working a double shift, just to make ends meet.
When I heard all this, I felt a deep, loving kindness for him. Before he left the room, I gave him a big hug. He started to cry. You know how that can be sometimes? All it takes is a hug or kind word and the emotional floodgates open. During the following couple of weeks, whenever I visited my friend, I took the nurse some of my homemade organic granola, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, or bread, which he loved and appreciated.
Both my hospitalized friend and I learned a valuable lesson during those two weeks on how important it is to reach out to others with tenderheartedness even though you have no guarantees of what you’ll get in return. Each of us can make a difference in the world. By our intentions and through our attitudes, we can create Heaven or Hell.
“Your greatness is measured by your kindness; your education and intellect by your modesty; your ignorance is betrayed by your suspicions and prejudices, and your real caliber is measured by the consideration and tolerance you have for others.”
William J.H. Boetcker
She said women deserve the best because:
They carry children, they carry hardships, they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous. Women wait by the phone for a “safe at home call” from a friend after a snowy drive home.
Women have special qualities about them. They volunteer for good causes.
They are child care workers, executives, attorneys, stay-at-home moms, biker babes and your neighbors.
They stand up for injustice. They are in the front row at PTA meetings.
They walk and talk the extra mile to get their children in the right schools and for getting their family the right health care.
They don’t take “no” for an answer when they believe there is a better solution.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally.
Women want to be the best for their family, their friends, and themselves. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards.
Women do more than just give birth. They bring joy and hope. They give compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends. And all they want back is a hug, a smile and for you to do the same to people you come in contact with.
MEN Men are good at lifting heavy stuff.
Don’t talk about yourself – it will be done when you leave.
A man answers the phone and has the following conversation: “Yes, mother, I’ve had a hard day. Gladys has been most difficult – I know I ought to be more firm, but it is hard. Well, you know how she is.”
“Yes, I remember you warned me. I remember you told me that she was a vile creature who would make my life miserable and you begged me not to marry her.”
“You were perfectly right.”
“You want to speak with her? All right.” He looks up from the telephone and calls to his wife in the next room:
“Gladys, your mother wants to talk to you!”
As long as I can remember, I’ve had amnesia.
While filling out an employment application, a man paused over this question: “Person to notify in case of an accident.”
Finally he wrote, “Anybody in sight.”
The trouble with being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it.
An Irish political prisoner escaped from jail by digging a tunnel that emerged to a school playground. As he emerged from the hole into the open air, he couldn’t help shouting over to a small girl. “I’m free ! I’m free !!”
“That’s nothing” she replied “I’m four!”
“I want to know what good is a web search engine that returns 324,909,188 ‘matches’ to my key word. That’s like saying, “Good news, we’ve located the product you’re looking for. It’s on Earth.”
Two women were paired together as partners in a club tournament and met on the putting green for the first time.
After introductions, the first golfer asked, “What’s your handicap?”
“Oh, I’m a scratch golfer,” the other replied.
“Really!” exclaimed the first woman, suitably impressed that she was paired up with her.
“Yes, I write down all my good scores and scratch out the bad ones!
Anything preying on my mind would starve to death.
“According to a brand new report, this year airline passengers have been subject to longer delays and ruder service than ever before. When asked about it, a spokesperson for the airlines said, ‘Shut up and get back in line!'”
It is my choice to care deeply about others. No kindness is too small to be important – the smile to the bank teller, the sincere “thank you” for all kindnesses received, the reassuring hand on the shoulder of a loved one or friend. There is compassion in selfless generosity, but there is also compassion in heartfelt empathy.
Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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