The Kindness of Strangers

Be Kind for Everyone is Fighting a Harder Battle Quote

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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.”
Tennessee Williams

Has anyone spoken kindly to you lately?  How did it make you feel? Who will you be kind to today?

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7 Responses to “The Kindness of Strangers”
  1. Maggie says:

    One of the things I try to when I meet someone new is tell them something nice about themselves (mostly it’s been women), and I try to do this especially with my friends, especially since I know what they’re struggling with I know that the little compliments do help.

  2. melanie says:

    You just never know what someone’s day looked like before they saw you :)

  3. Christy says:

    Another thoughtful post. Thank you for the sweet reminder, Ruthie :) Sometimes it’s so easy to forget that everyday we’re given opportunities to bless others, sometimes as simple as a smile and a compliment.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      You’re welcome;) I am the queen of rushing through life and not stopping to help the hurting world around us. But it takes almost nothing out of us and can make a huge difference in the life of someone else.

  4. Jess says:

    Hey Ruthie! nice post yet again….

    Thanks for the reminder,surely I will join you to spread the kindness and the love of Christ and not only should we do so during Christmas season alone, but we should purpose to make it a lifestyle

    Am asking God to grant us a fresh compassion for His people.

    Merry Christmas in advance to you and Michael!!

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