|image by worldkarmaproject.org via googleimages|
It wasn’t April 15th or December 26th or any other nationally recognized sad day, at least as far as I could tell. The New England sun shone down with its trademark smile and the crisp cool air played with the new shades of blue. I watched the Fall leaves twirl and spin as the cars ahead of me blew them up and into the air.
“Look at the leaves,” I said to my daughter, “they’re dancing!”
And together we laughed. Together we sang. Together we drove home from school with a fresh kind of happy in our hearts.
And then, as if finding an unexpected letter in the mail, we cocked our heads with a curious feeling.
“What was that? Who’s honking?” she said to me.
I turned down the music to try to see.
It was the car in front of me.
“Someone is unhappy. Someone is impatient. Someone isn’t being as kind, as kind as we wish they would be.”
We turned with the honker (and the honkee) still curious and wondering, wondering what’s and why’s and how we might help. Yes help, my little girl and me.
He was following her very closely, his red van hovering behind her like an angry bee. She didn’t speed up. She didn’t slow down. She just kept a steady pace, a law-abiding pace, and he didn’t leave her alone. He just kept honking, yelling, screaming at her with the power of his angry horn. When finally, he turned away.
We breathed a sigh of relief.
A few minutes later, we came to a stop light. With more than one lane. So I pulled up beside the honkee and rolled down my window.
“Excuse me!” I sang out, my hand waving, trying to get her attention. “Excuse me!”
“Yes?” she said in return, as she rolled down her window, her face gentle, her eyes seemingly afraid.
“Why was that man so angry and honking at you so meanly?” I said. “I want you to know that I saw how awful he was to you and that you had a stranger not far behind, rooting for you and caring about you!”
And her face? It softened even more. And her eyes? They looked as if they might burst into tears. “I think he was mad that I didn’t turn fast enough, but really, I’m not sure.”
“Well, don’t you dare worry!" I said to her with love. "He was just having a bad day. An unkind day. And you just happened to be the one who got in his way. I’m so sorry.”
“Why thank you,” she said through her smiles, “thank you so much for caring. You made my day.”
But it was kindness. Kindness that made both of our days.
* * *
I read a recent article that said that marriages only succeed when one crucial piece is ever-present—kindness. So if a marriage, for many of us, the closest heart connection of all, is only able to succeed on a steady diet of kindness, wouldn’t that also hold true for every other relationship in our lives? What then, would the world look like, how would it change, if we let kindness be our mantra, if we let kindness be our speak, if we let kindness guide our days and direct our every step?
How would your day change if you led with kindness for yourself?
How would your day change if you led with kindness for everyone around you?
How would your heart change?
How would the world change … if kindness was more important than any other bottom line?
Let’s imagine. Let’s imagine and then try it on to see…