The Kindness of Strangers
I pulled up to the coffeehouse drive-through window and the barista handed me my favorite drink in exchange for my credit card.
“Wow. You have gorgeous hair!” I said noticing her thick, shiny blond hair that danced around her round face. She did not appear to hear me and turned to the machine to swipe my credit card. I sipped my coffee—hoping it would summon my writing muse—waiting for her to return.
She approached the window and I noticed her eyes were glossy, as if she was on the verge of tears.
“You made my day,” she hesitated before continuing.
“I just want you to know you made my whole day.”
Her expression announced her lack of confidence and I knew she was in dire need of encouragement.
“Well, you really do have gorgeous hair. I’ve always envied people with thick hair.” I said.
She smiled and I wondered how long she’d gone without a compliment.
“Well, have a good day. I hope more people notice your pretty hair.” It felt like a strange interaction to have separated by a window.
I have no idea what the barista was experiencing in her personal life. But I do know the holidays can be tough for people with broken families, those who struggle with loneliness, and many who feel dissatisfied. The clerk checking you out at Kroger, our coworkers, the consistent traffic guard at your child’s school, and each one of us needs kindness and love that often is forgotten with the flurry of Christmas activities. Will you join me in this Christmas intentionally stopping the rush and spreading kindness? Sometimes a genuine, “how are you today?” with eye contact or a simple compliment can alter the course of someone’s day. It’s hard not to steamroll through our to-do lists. But but what if we each committed to taking a moment each day to share a kind word with a hurting world? Can you imagine the difference?
“To be rich in admiration and free from envy, to rejoice greatly in the good of others, to love with such generosity of heart that your love is still a dear possession in absence or unkindness – these are the gifts which money cannot buy.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”
Has anyone spoken kindly to you lately? How did it make you feel? Who will you be kind to today?
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