Saturday, June 24, 2017

Kindness Challenge
Created by Niki Meadows
Weeks 6 & 7
Kindness Without Expectation
Grateful for Kindness
When we show kindness to others, we often expect kindness in return. Sometimes, that happens; other times it does not.  We can feel hurt when we're not extended the same consideration we extend someone else. Kindness, however, is a bit like gift giving: The joy is ours to give...

Accepting kindness from others is the highest form of gratitude.  We acknowledge that people care for us, and we are thankful for their care. Often, their kindness comes at the worst times in our lives, when we need kindness most--after a tragic event or during a serious illness.

Being grateful for kindness opens our hearts.  To appreciate kindness, we must learn to be givers and receivers and to do both sincerely and humbly.

Kindness is its own reward.
  If we measure kindness that way, we will always have full hearts.
Wishing everyone love, kindness, and gratitude.
~ Linda

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Kindness Challenge - Week 5
Created by Niki Meadows
#RevOfKindness @NikiMeadowsRA
Choosing Kindness
Sadly, I don't always ask myself these three questions before I respond to an angry person.  My first inclination is to fire back.  If I do repeat these questions to myself, my response is more measured.  I've found that a pause in the dialogue can defuse the situation. "I don't know what to say.  I need time to think about that."  It prevents me and the other person from spouting off something else we might regret.
This is the hardest rule and biggest challenge. Oddly enough, unhappy people usually need kindness most.  When someone lashes out, I try to learn what's really bothering him or her. I ask if he or she is okay or if there's anything I can do to help.  Sometimes, I'm met with obstinance; other times tears.  At least, however, I've tried to make a connection...instead of a disconnection.
The "turn the other cheek" rule.  I ask myself, "Is it worth it?  Most of the time, it's not, and I walk away from the confrontation--swallow my pride.  I would only persist if the person was in danger.  If it's not a matter of life and death, then whether I'm right is not important. 
I encounter many people on a daily basis.  If I offer smiles and kind words, I've left behind the best part of myself, and maybe, brought a bit of sunshine to a cloudy heart.  Life can be unkind enough, without my adding to other people's sorrows.
Kindness is a conscious choice that can become a good habit.  If I keep that in mind, I will make an effort to be kinder, even to people who seem devoid of kindness. A smile, a sympathetic or understanding word, can make all the difference in someone else's life.

Kindness is contagious.  Pass it along, pay it forward--help it spread.
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Monday, June 5, 2017

Kindness Challenge - Week 4
Created by Niki Meadows
#RevOfKindness @NikiMeadowsWA
My Role Model for Kindness
My dearest grandma Emma,

Today, I’m writing to tell you something I never told you: You were my "role model for kindness."  Yes, you loved me, unconditionally, but we shared more than a hereditary link.  We shared a spiritual connection, a bond that cannot be broken.

When I think of you, I think of roses, gently tended to by your hard-working hands.  Remember the honey bee that stung you?  You let out a yelp, and I frowned up at you.  "Why did it do that, Gramma?" Smiling, you allayed my fears.  “The little bee said ‘look out, here I come,’ but I didn’t get out of the way.”  That made me giggle, but it also taught me a valuable lesson about life and forgiveness.

You were a quiet, thoughtful woman, who never spoke ill of others. Faith shone through your light blue eyes, along with a glint of merriment.  You lost your firstborn, your only son, while your husband had gone to America in search of a better life.  Three years passed before you could join Grandpa in the United States, but your grief and your struggles never made you bitter.

I carry your stories in my heart: Your voyage from Austria to America with two young daughters; the terrible seasickness you endured.  The hardships of an immigrant family living in Chicago.  You learned to speak English, became a citizen, and cleaned office buildings in order to survive The Great Depression.  From you, I learned the meaning of courage and perseverance.  Your strong, silent message prevailed: Never lose hope.

You did needlepoint beautifully, a testament to your patience.  You baked apple pies with a dash of cinnamon and a lot of love.  We cooked together in your favorite style: a pinch of this; a pinch of that. You taught me to polka, to speak German, and to sing in your native language.  You always helped your family, lending a hand well into your upper years.

Although Grandpa could be difficult at times, you stayed by his side for six decades.  I was with you when he drew his last breath, and with you when you drew yours.  The morning your soul called to mine, and I rushed to the hospital, remains a bittersweet memory.  I held your hand and we sang, “Du, Du, Liegst Mir Im Herzen…” You, you, lie in my heart.  A part of me went with you that day, but you left behind a kinder, more caring person.

Kindness & Patience go hand in hand, Grammy.  You taught me everything I need to know about both--instilled in me a sense of compassion.

Thank you, I love you, and I'll see you in your rose garden...

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Who was your "role model for kindness," and why?