“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou
True story: Late in her life, actress Elizabeth Montgomery, best known for her role as the lovable witch Samantha on the TV comedy Bewitched, was on a plane seated next to an old friend of mine. Suddenly, a woman making her way down the aisle stopped dead in her tracks after recognizing the actress. “Oh my God!” she gasped. “You’re Elizabeth Montgomery! Could you please do me a favor? Could you do that “nose twitch” thing you used to do on the show?” By now, some of the other passengers were looking in her direction. She laughed, and gladly performed the magic twitch. After the plane had taken off, my friend turned to Montgomery and said, “Wow you must get so tired of that.” Without missing a beat, she smiled and said, “Never! If that’s all it takes to make someone’s day, I’m happy to do it!”
This is the person I want to be.
You know, most of us will never be famous. We’ll not sing on American Idol. We likely will not appear on Oprah. Buildings and airports probably won’t be erected in our name. What we can do is leave a mark of kindness. As easy as it is to twitch your nose, you could be that one source of goodness that a person needs—your kindness could actually save someone’s life.
“…kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, and kindness in your warm greeting.” Let us all always choose to be kind.”
~ Mother Theresa
My friend, Don was in a 7-11 getting a Big Gulp one day. He noticed the man behind the counter appeared to be foreign, “probably an Arab,” he thought and he laughed at the convenience-store stereotype. He formed an opinion about this Middle East-looking stranger and part of him felt some hatred towards him. Then he stopped himself. Seeing that business was slow, he struck up a conversation. A simple, “So, where are you from?” was all it took. An hour later, he learned a great deal about a young man whose family fled horrific conflict in his native land to come to America legally to begin a new life. Working at 7-11 was the beginning of his American dream. Don paused telling this story and said, “I almost took my change and left the store and never said a word to him. If I had done that, I would’ve missed his beautiful story of hope. I would’ve missed out on kindness.” Then he said something that really struck me. “If I hate that guy, then I hate God.”
We have a thousand reasons not to be kind. The world is insane. Turn on the TV for 5 minutes and you’ll see.
But the truth is that deep within the mud puddle lies something untouched by the stains of the world. Behind every single beautiful happening, there lies kindness. It is the bridge that links heaven and earth. Kindness is available to each of us. It feels so good to express it on others because that is what we were created to do.