Freeform Friday: Can we practice kindness?

While I was at work yesterday I had an experience that left me a bit shaken up. I helped someone who was facing an anxiety attack, and their gratitude was so overflowing it blew me away. Admittedly, when a person is in that moment of need and someone provides the exact aid to help them, yes, they’ll be thankful.

It was what happened afterward that startled me and left me thinking all day.My coworker stopped by a few minutes later to specifically thank me, mentioning that I have helped others and wondering if there was ever a time when I was “not awesome.”

I am not a saint, I promise. I have my full share of flaws. I am utterly human. I don’t think I’m special in comparison to others, even if I have noticed that I have more confidence than some.

I asked a few friends about the situation last night, and they each said I did a thing most people wouldn’t do. I can’t fathom this. I am absolutely unable to reconcile my belief that people help one another with the idea that my doing so is somehow unique or noteworthy.

If I see a dog panting in the summer heat and have water, I’ll try to find a way to share it. If I find a lost child, I’ll help them find their parents. If I see someone with a flat tire, I’ll ask if they need help.

None of it happens because I’m on the lookout to be someone’s savior, but because I was taught that if you notice a need and can meet it, then you do so. It wasn’t even tied to religion. I was in elementary school when we started attending church.

So today, I’m going to ask everyone reading this to step forward. You don’t have to take on the life burdens of anyone around you, but if you see someone in need and know what to do, extend a hand.

Someone having trouble at the copy machine? Show them how to make it work.

A coworker shows up without a meal again? Ask if they’d like to share lunch.

Someone struggling to get a large bag of trash out? Offer to help.

Let’s work together to make it so this world is not one where kindness and compassion are unexpected. Use whatever catchphrase you like for it, but it really is just about being compassionate. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll wake others up to the idea that we can make life just a shade easier for each other.

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