Extend kindness into, through the year 2013

Posted on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 8:23 am

This is the time when people talk about making changes in their lives in the form of resolutions. The word ‘resolution’ evolves from the word ‘resolve’ which means ‘to make a firm decision about.’ Another word is ‘resolute’ meaning ‘characterized by firmness and determination.’

Resolutions are easily made and broken, especially with questions going into the year. People are frustrated about many uncertainties concerning inaction in Washington, D.C. I no longer call them ‘leaders’ as they can not separate reality and hardships by the average American. However, there is one resolution which can be controlled by each individual…that is to be kind towards one another in the coming  year. This can be done as experienced by a worker at the Crider Health Center in St. Charles County. Here is the account of paying kindness forward.

On Dec. 14, 2012, April was heading home from a long day at work when she decided to stop at the QT store located on Fifth Street in St. Charles. She wanted to purchase herself a spiced pumpkin cappuccino. Little did she know that she was about to receive a very special gift. After locating the cappuccino machine, April reached for a cup, filled it, and found her place in line at the counter. While awaiting her turn at the register, an elderly woman noticed April’s badge which identified her as an employee at Crider Health Center. The woman engaged April in conversation as they waited.

When the time came for April to pay for her cappuccino, the elderly woman insisted on buying it for her. April, appreciating the woman’s offer, told her that it wasn’t necessary but the woman insisted. The woman went on to explain that because of Crider Health Center’s services, her daughter is no longer homeless and has been able to receive the medication she needs to care for her own children again.

Touched by this show of gratitude, April obliged the elderly woman and allowed her to pay for her drink. April walked back to her car feeling warm and fuzzy inside and thinking how privileged she is to work for such an amazing organization. As she drove towards home she placed her cappuccino in the cup holder. Shortly after she got on the highway, she noticed a man with no coat holding a sign that read, “Hungry and thirsty– anything will help.”

Without a second thought, April stopped her car and since she had not taken a sip of her cappuccino, she handed it to the man thinking that he needed it much more than her. As the man took the cappuccino, his eyes filled with tears. When April asked if he was alright he stated, “I will be now because I know that someone cares about me.”

Moved by his statement, April asked him what he meant.  He said, “I have been standing here with this sign for four hours and not one person has acknowledged me except for you.”

As he thanked April, he explained that because of her kindness he would not give up believing that things in his life could get better.

“I just want everyone to know that we can find opportunities to help others every single day if we just take the time to open our eyes,” said April. “There are people in our communities who are struggling and could use a little added dose of hope. One small act of kindness can set off a whirlwind of good deeds.”

So in 2013, be cognizant of opportunities where we can make a difference in people’s lives. Small or large, it doesn’t cost us anything to ‘pay it forward’ with a kind act.

Happy 2013….make a difference in someone’s life.

By Bob Simmons

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