[to those of you who get these in your email – sorry for the repeat…oops.]
I finally had a day off of work last week and decided to make the most of it: aka, spend my inheritance on new license plates at the DMV. I gave myself a pep talk in the morning: “Kallie, you’re going to spend a pretty penny today. It’s going to be ok – this is what being an adult looks like.”
I also braced myself for a long wait at the DMV as well.
So I arrived, plugged in my zip code and reason for being there in the kiosk machine, and slid onto a bench next to a man who, let’s just say, I wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley. He joked about my sparkly Toms (something along the lines of “you’re gonna need those sparkly slippers to make it through this line”).
So I began my wait. An hour and a half later, I had learned an important lesson – kindness is most important.
One of the most influential people in my life has been my Grandma. She died when I was a junior in high school, and I learned this same lesson from her life. She was a stay at home mom, and “stay at home Grandma” as well. She lived, what other people might say, a “normal” or “quiet” life. But when we went to her wake and her funeral, I was overwhelmed at the amount of people who came. So many people showed up to honor the life, this life we might deem “average.” I learned that her sphere of influence was incredibly wide because of her kindness. I saw the amount of impact a person can make if they simply treat people well.
So as I sat watching a lady yelling at the woman at the window with a sign that ironically said, “In training – be patient while I learn,” I thought about this lesson again. As she made us cringe (and sometimes giggle) with lines like, “Did a man invent this system? Because it DOESN’T WORK!” I remembered my Grandma and how my life took a sharp turn because of what I learned from her life. I decided then that kindness would be a top value for me.
If you’ve been around me recently, you’ll know my obsession with the new live action movie of “Cinderella.” I’ve seen it twice in theaters and talk about it probably daily. The reason I love it so much is because she embodies this idea; she values kindness and it ends up being the reason that things turn out for her the way they do. “Have courage and be kind” is her motto (and now the background on my phone). Yes, she is beautiful, but the reason her fairy godmother helps her and the reason the prince falls for her is because she is kind.
Kindness is underrated, but can change everything. Have courage and be kind. Treat people the way you wish everyone would treat the person who is most important to you. Talk to people like it is the last conversation you might ever have. Last week I found out someone I used to know committed suicide. These tragedies always remind us of the weight our words and actions hold; the way we treat people and talk to people can literally save lives.
Speak life, be gentle, build up those around you. You’ll never know the impact your kindness may have on someone’s life – it just might change everything.