One night, about two summers ago, I was working the register at the baseball store where I spend my summers. I stood behind the register, waiting for the last half hour to pass by.
In walked a family.
They took a few minutes to look around the store. As they looked, the rain outside grew heavier and heavier…a storm had rolled in. They finished looking and, as they looked outside, I could hear them discussing how they wished they had an umbrella.
Normally, this would have been a seemingly insignificant moment. Luckily, I was suddenly reminded of the umbrella that had been left in the store a few weeks earlier. As they got ready to leave, I offered them the umbrella and explained how it had been left multiple weeks before. They were very appreciative as they made their way out of the store.
I may have given away the umbrella, but I received a gift of equal, if not greater, importance
Small Acts of Kindness Can Bring Us Immense Joy
Sometimes it’s the smallest acts of giving that bring us the greatest happiness. Writing a card, buying someone a coffee, or allowing someone to vent doesn’t require much effort on our part, but they can give us a sense of importance. We are reminded of how much we mean to the people around us. These acts become a subtle reminder that our existence improves lives, even if it’s just in a few little ways.
We also feel ourselves taking a small step toward our best selves. Most of us want to feel more helpful, kind, or grateful. A few small acts of kindness each month are a great way to move toward these goals without creating a financial burden for ourselves.
We Find the Kindness or Love We Need
When we start to feel a need for kindness or love, the best answer might be to give it to someone else. We all go through periods where we feel lack, wanting something that we don’t have or feel at that moment. If we’re able to turn our attention outward, we realize others likely long for similar things. We might have the opportunity to help them. We can show them a bit of kindness and love.
In return for our act of kindness, they are more likely to perform an act of kindness. There is a good chance their act of kindness will impact us either directly or indirectly. Fulfilling our need for love in the process. Don’t create an expectation that they will reciprocate, but be aware that a lot of people do reciprocate your kindness, whether you’re aware of it or not.
You’re Going Above and Beyond What Is Required
Knowing that you did more than what was necessary can be a great source of joy and confidence. Performing an act of kindness isn’t required to keep your job or your friends. You could easily ignore the opportunity. You could push kindness to the back of your mind and focus solely on furthering your goals, but would it be satisfying?
Most people don’t feel a full sense of satisfaction unless they’ve gone above and beyond the requirements. They enjoy feeling like they’ve over-delivered on a promise or a work project. The same could be said for kindness. Kindness is most enjoyed when we do it because we want to, not because we have to. It recognizes its full potential when we spend extra time planning a birthday party or making sure someone feels welcome in our community. Kindness and all of its joys can only be completely appreciated when it’s performed during unlikely moments.
Moments of kindness have made their way into many of the highlights of my life. Receiving kindness feels amazing, but giving it can be just as rewarding. Whenever I find myself in a rut, one of the first places I turn is toward being kind to others. Focusing on kindness truly has changed my life. I couldn’t imagine my life without kindness. Luckily, I don’t have to!