I believe in the power of kindness.
Whether you are on the receiving end of a random act of kindness or you are a witness to it, it can inspire you to do the same for others, or it can simply help your own heart. Paying this type of behavior forward causes a ripple effect amongst our social networks, and across the world.
This may sound idealistic and lofty to some. But I think it sounds lofty only because it is incredibly difficult to measure the impact that one an act of kindness has on a person and the ripple effect it can cause. It seems like an abstract idea. And it sort of is. But what’s wrong with believing in the magic of kindness?
All kidding aside, there are studies which have looked into the science behind “paying it forward.” These studies have concluded that individuals who are the recipients of an act of kindness, or witnesses to an act of kindness, are more likely to set a cascade of generosity into motion and to sustain it.
Think about the power one act of kindness can create.
I recently was a recipient of an act of kindness from two strangers. I want to share their story with you, because I think we need to hear more stories like this.
These two individuals know me from my account on Instagram. This is an account I use to share the story about my late newborn son, Jensen. I put his story out into the world, talk about my grief struggles and conversely, my moments of hope. I also connect with other moms on Instagram who have lost their babies.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a message from the owners, Lana and Abby, at The Eclectic Pineapple. The Eclectic Pineapple is a small shop that makes unique, personalized watercolor paintings from a baby’s ultrasound image. They sell these paintings on Etsy as baby shower gifts, nursery décor, and even as memorial paintings for mothers who have lost their babies. The paintings are absolutely beautiful.
They reached out to me to say they would like to create a memorial painting for me in honor of Jensen, and was I interested? I wrote them back right away and told them of course, and asked how much it would cost. They responded by saying they wanted to do this at no cost, they just needed me to share one of Jensen’s ultrasound pictures with them. They simply wanted to make a painting for me.
I was taken aback (in a good way), that they wanted to do this kind thing for me. I thought to myself, “We need more people like this in our world.”
They could have easily not have been bothered. I certainly would have been none the wiser.
But they did bother. They did put in extra time and effort. And it’s because of this: There are people in this world who readily offer their compassion and kindness to a complete stranger. There are people who go above and beyond what is necessary. There are people who know someone is struggling and WANT to lift that person’s spirits. There are people who know that they have a gift, and choose to share it with others. There are people who take the time. There are people who recognize that kindness is a universal language that all of us need to hear. There are people who simply CARE and do something about it.
When I received the painting, I was blown away. The picture doesn’t do it any justice. It is beautiful. And the fact that it was made from someone’s heart, makes it a million times more beautiful to me. Since losing my son, I have been reminded time and time again that there are good people in the world. My family, friends, coworkers, and absolute strangers. Receiving these acts of kindness helps my grieving heart.
(Side note: Please check out TheEclecticPineapple’s Etsy shop, and support this beautiful business! https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheEclecticPineapple)
Do you remember your parents telling you when you were little to, “treat others how you want to be treated.” There is so much wisdom in this age-old adage. It’s about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and using perspective to guide your actions towards others. Because we all want to be treated with love and kindness.
In order to live by these words, it takes several qualities: reflection, empathy, and selflessness. It can be difficult to practice this adage every moment of every day. But I challenge you, reader, to think about how you can bring a little more kindness into the world each day.
Not everyone has the ability to create a piece of art and share it with others. But everyone has the ability to be kind. Spread kindness out into the universe each day – whether it is a small act of opening a door for someone, holding the elevator, or paying for someone’s meal, it makes a difference in this world. Take the time. We all struggle and it can lift someone’s spirits, even if just for a moment. And someone might really need that lift.
As for me, I absolutely love my painting. Thank you, Lana and Abby for this beautiful gift. Every time I see it, I am reminded that there are kind-hearted people in this world and that one act of kindness goes a long way. It inspires me to practice kindness each and every day.
I believe in the power of kindness.