Acts of Kindness

Yesterday I was driving home and a little grumpy because of traffic. I’m not used to being in rush-hour traffic, since my commute has entailed just walking down the hall for more than 10 years. I found myself doing the typical stuff, trying to get through lights, staying right on the tail of the guy in front of me, getting anxious at people trying to cut me off merge. My shoulders were up around my ears and my hands were gripping the steering wheel.

Then I was stopped at a light, bummed that I hadn’t made it through, and a woman was crossing, her arms full of bags. She dropped one. The light started to flash and she was scrambling to pick it up. A guy from the sidewalk (who also had a full load) ran out to help her pick the stuff up. We all sat patiently as the light turned green and she tried to get out of the crosswalk.

As she passed, I noticed that it looked like a bottle or two of red wine had broken in her bag. I was sad for her! The wine was leaking out of the bag everywhere. As they reached the corner, a woman came out of the office holding a garbage can. The broken bottles and spilled wine went directly into it.

As I was sitting there, it hit me how those strangers took just a few minutes to show kindness to each other, and what a difference it made. I thought about how it would feel to extend that kindness to the people I encounter, even those behind the wheel of the cars around me. You know, pay it forward.

I drove the rest of the way home with a smile on my face, singing to the radio, waving people in, giving plenty of room, stopping for pedestrians. By the time I arrived home my shoulders were back down where they’re supposed to be, I was calm and relaxed and just plain happy. My favorite way to be.

2 comments to Acts of Kindness

  • Queen of Stress

    Shannon I wanted to thank you for this post. It is nice to see people doing the good ‘ole “Golden Rule.” Sometimes it seems the world has forgot it. While acts of kindness might have been your point here and personally I could really rant about people trying to have intimate relationships with my rear (bumper), your comment about your shoulders being up around your ears really helped me. Since reading your post, it’s really helped me take notice of my wearing shoulder ear rings and at times, actually able to wear a hat on my shoulders. I’ve been able to catch myself now in that mode and say “Hey, relax!” Gee I have even discovered I have a neck now!


  • I’m so glad you’ve been re-introduced to your neck!

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