being kind, it’s actually harder than it looks

It December, I committed myself to 26 Acts of Kindness as a tribute to the victims of Sandy Hook. I wrote about it here and was certain I would be able to blast through in no time. I envisioned it as my holiday activity and thought if I was intentional about kindness I could check it off by early January.

It is January 30 and I am on number 8. Ok, so that wasn’t exactly how I imagined it would go. I framed the acts as something I wouldn’t ordinarily do…so opening a door, bringing Steve a coffee warm up (which quite honestly, I only do so he will respond likewise), writing a note or smiling at a stranger doesn’t count. Around Christmas we were on the road and I had many opportunities, so I made a list and started checking off every paid bridge toll fee and Salvation Army contribution. I bought several Starbucks cards along the way and returned them to the barista, asking her to give them to a weary traveler later in the day. I was making fine progress.

Then, on December 23, while we were on the freeway, we witnessed a terrible traffic accident. We stopped, and I spent quite a bit of time helping one of the women, especially during the moments when she thought she killed the others in the overturned van (she didn’t). I prayed with her, right there on the freeway. I brought her water. I called her daughter, twice. I hugged her. I wanted to bring her food, but when Kate offered up the delicious cranberry bread (which we had just broken into), I suggested perhaps not and gave her an apple instead. When we were finished, I got into the car and announced that I had earned at least 3 kindness points. Kate and Alex refused to give them to me! They said I would have done it anyway, and clearly I didn’t go out there because of my list. I suspect it was the non-giving of the cranberry bread that put me out of favor there. And that apple is probably still on the side of the road.

Anyway, on the trip back I bought another Starbucks card, but skipped paying the secret bridge toll. I wondered how I would be able to manage 18 more acts of kindness because you know, it’s January. Yesterday I was leaving Target and there was a woman holding a sign, asking for money for her family. I recognized, just for a moment, that between my errands and my home, she was an opportunity for me to be kind. I slowed down, opened my wallet and pulled out my cash. I smiled and asked her how she was doing and gave her what I had. And if I had the cranberry bread, I would have given it to her, too.

I stopped making the list, but I am still thinking about it, and still doing what I can. It’s a matter of looking for opportunities. They are around us, even in January. And even in February. I’ll keep you posted.


About kim tackett

Northern CA marketing consultant, writer of very small stories, and drinker of very strong coffee.
This entry was posted in Just Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to being kind, it’s actually harder than it looks

  1. andrea says:

    What you did was beyond kind. I am sure you do acts of kindness all the time without realizing that you are doing them!

  2. pam says:

    I read the book, “The 29 Gifts” – where a woman had to give a gift (kindness) every day for 29 consecutive days, it was hard!

  3. njweseman says:

    Oh Kim, you were such a blessing for that lady during that accident. Makes me so glad that you were there for her. This post really touched me. I agree with Andrea above, and I am sure you do acts of kindness everyday. That is just who you are!

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