Last month, my husband and I had cause to drive from the state in which we live (Indiana) to North Carolina. On the way back, we blew out a tire. This seems to be typical of us, because it is not the first time this has happened while making the trip from North Carolina to the more Northern states. The tires were all new (within the past couple of months) and so we must have driven over something in the road.
It was shortly after one in the morning when we blew the tire out and got onto the side of the road. Until three AM we sat in our car with the engine running and the hazards on. After that, with gas prices on the rise, we turned off the engine and the lights and opened the hood, hoping that someone would see us stopped and call a towing company or some other form of help.
At about four in the morning we were awakened (as we had fallen asleep) by the courtesy patrol. We called AAA and waited for our tow truck to arrive in order to help us.
You see, we don't have a cell phone, and even if our phone was still connected, we would not have had service in the mountains of West Virginia. We were stuck, sleeping in our car with a young child, while large rigs raced past us, making us jolt every single time. The experience was frightening, and in spite of a lot of traffic for that time of the morning, nobody stopped to help us or bothered to call for help.
One simple act of kindness (making a call that we could not) would have changed the course of our entire trip.
In honor of my daughter’s 15th birthday, I would like to repost an essay she wrote last year about kindness. Keri is one of the kindest people I know, and I am so grateful she is my daughter.
“Kindness is like a spark from a match that creates a forest fire. The forest is a forest of anger, selfishness, and cruelty. Kindness can burn through all of those things.” -Keri Cuthriell
Kindness by Keri Cuthriell
One thing people today overlook far too much is the simple yet effective act of kindness. In this cold new world overtaken by selfishness and greed is a desperate need for those little acts of care. Just a helping hand or a quick show of compassion can turn another person’s day completely around.
Sometimes even a friendly smile can save a life. People often forget others and become very engrossed in their own problems. This leads to a negative downward spiral and a chain reaction of selfishness. A generation of selfish people is the last thing we need today. Imagine if everybody was willing to be kind and compassionate to each other. If it was not forced, but a habit. This would change the world.
Everyone has experienced difficult times at one time or another when things were not going well and needed an act of kindness to brighten up their day. If it wasn’t for that one person, that one act of kindness, they might not have the life they have today. Remember how effective just the smallest act of kindness can be. Know that you can do this for others. In the long run, you may not be just helping one person but multiple people. Kindness is like the spark from a match that creates a forest fire. The forest is a forest of anger, selfishness, and cruelty. Kindness can burn through all of those things.
It’s very important for people to remember that anger is powerful. So is selfishness along with cruelty. However, kindness overpowers all. You may think your kindness makes a difference for other people only, but it doesn’t. What comes around goes around, and your act will be returned. Your most important reward is knowing how much you just helped someone in need. You feel satisfaction knowing that you might have saved someone’s day, week, or even life. What you have really been given is the most precious gift you can receive, the gift of kindness. Everyone is capable of being kind. Everyone can help. The real question is, why don’t we? This should not be a question. Kindness should come automatically. It should be common rather than a rarity. We can make this happen and do something kind today.
“No matter how small, an act of kindness never goes unnoticed.”
Keri, I love who you are. You make the world a better place. Happy Birthday!
Inspirational, Psychology, Relationshipsacts of kindness, Compassion, Kindness, small acts of kindness, the snowball, the snowball effect, treating people with kindness