There is so much shame, anger, and negativity in what we expose ourselves to each day. I found myself craving something different. As I thought about what exactly I craved, my brain went back into the archives to show me exactly what I needed.
The Day I met Kindness
Amongst the competition and drama of the corporate office, the world introduced me to kindness.
As young, hard working women new to the workforce, Sheryl and I were both surprised not by the existence of gossip and scheming, but by the sheer amount of it. And today we were the targets of the latest plot.
Ignoring the financial splurge, we decided to get out of the office for lunch and ended up in a whole-in-the-wall sandwich shop fitting for our dark mood and clandestine conversation.
Deep in conversation about the latest office shenanigans, neither of us noticed the tall, older man making his way to our booth. (Think Burt Lancaster as Archibald Graham in the movie Field of Dreams.)
Excuse me ladies. But you both look like you could use a little sunshine today.’
He even sounded like Doc Graham. And with that he gave us each a bouquet of fresh cut flowers with a card stapled to the paper.
Every day I like to give one person a little sunshine. But today I noticed the two of you and went back to my flower shop for a second bouquet.’
We were speechless and a little creeped out to be honest.
You see, I used to bring a fresh bouquet each day to my beautiful wife at her office. But she passed. I’ve got no one to give ‘em to. So now I find someone who looks like they need ‘em. You have a nice day, now.’
He nodded as he walked away. I’m sure if he was wearing a hat he would have tipped it. We looked at the flowers, each other, and at the door closing behind him.
Somehow that one encounter gave us what we needed to let go of the scheming and get back to work. Without a response, the office gossip aimed at us eventually lost momentum.
The Everyday Kindness Habit
The mystery flower shop man wasn’t your typical larger than life superhero (cape or no). But his gesture had impact. The fact that I remember the events of that day as clearly as yesterday is proof.
As I replay the events, I still feel the kindness as if it just happened. In today’s environment, I
want need to feel kindness again – everyday.
I’ve gotten into a bad habit of starting my day by reading the news or my emails or social media posts that are – well – less than positive.
I had to take action. If I wasn’t getting what I needed, I needed to make it happen on my own. That’s when I started posting the #human2human daily message. At first it was only for my own sake. As time went on others started noticing the posts and asking me about their source.
Their source is from my own thoughts and observations of the people around me. It may be from a conversation I’ve had, or a thought inspired by the mindfulness of the day. Within each post I include a flower icon 🌼 as an homage to the mysterious Burt Lancaster – like flower shop owner for his small gesture turned lifetime influence.
To my delight, others found these daily messages helpful.
It seems kindness is still in style.
It’s also a great reminder that our actions have impact. Our words have impact. And to challenge ourselves to bring kindness into our everyday connections.