What was your act of kindness today?

Last week I drove my son to school as usual. We left the house in a hurry, again as usual, wondering if we would make it in time. It was one of these days when you think that this is going to be a stressful day. We arrived just in time, and then my son realized that he had forgotten his homework folder with an important assignment which he had to turn in that morning or get an “F”. Joy! As a responsible and loving mom, I decided to drive back home, grab the stupid folder and bring it back to school as soon as possible. Now we don’t live around the corner from school. We live out in the country and the trip takes about 25 minutes each way. Nevertheless my determination to deliver the folder just in time was unshakable, and my son was relying on me.

Suddenly I was on a mission. I dashed back home, found the folder and was rushing back into town when a cop stopped me for speeding. I was guilty as charged, and I knew that this might turn into a costly adventure. I did not even try to defend myself. The officer had caught me fair and square. I simply pointed at the folder lying next to me on the seat and said: “I am sorry officer. I am usually not a racer but I have to deliver this folder at school as soon as possible.” Yes, I gave him a sample of my most charming smiles, but I did not beg. I simply explained the situation and I awaited my fate. What happened next made my day. He let me go by saying: “Once a day I let somebody go and you are the one today. Congratulations and now drive to school and fulfill your motherly duties.”


This friendly and compassionate officer made my day and his act of kindness made me very happy for several reasons.

  • I felt appreciation and compassion
  • I was forgiven for acting wrongly
  • I felt heard as a caring mom
  • I felt that I still have my ‘mojo’ and can perform my feminine magic
  • I saved a lot of money and hassle.

When I told this story to my husband, he summarized it from a very male point of view. He could not resist laughing out loud when he said: “Sometimes it’s really helpful to be blond.” Men might laugh, but I thought that my husband was totally minimizing this act of kindness. Well, men!!

The rest of my day went smoothly and I was waiting for my opportunity to pay it forward. I did do so the same day and I felt that being kind evolves into pleasure for the giver as well the recipient.

Christmas is coming up soon and I want you to think about an act of kindness you can give to people around you. I am not talking about making gifts of material value, instead I am talking about everything else – a compliment, a helping hand, showing forgiveness or confirming trust. Make this month a month of kindness. Maybe you will get used to it and will continue doing so the rest of your life. Trust me that the more kindness you give, the more kindness you will receive. It does not cost you anything, but it is the most precious gift you can make.

In this sense I wish you a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends.

With love,

About Hertha Wolff-Arend

I am a business coach and writer located in Paso Robles, California. I am the author of the book Be a woman and act like one. Succeeding in business and life’’ and I write a blog for women with the same title. I give motivational speeches and offer leadership and personality trainings to women. I also work with business owners and managers to support them in their leadership skills and personal development. As a strategic consultant, I also help companies with their communication and marketing strategy. Born and raised in Germany, I spent most of my adult life in Europe. I have a German university degree in languages and economics and I worked for many years in the advertising industry as one of the few female managing directors in Germany for major international advertising agencies such as Young&Rubicam, TBWA and Bates. My client list consisted of mainly blue chip clients, where I was responsible for their communications strategies and the development and execution of the advertising concepts. Just to name a few clients: Lufthansa, Danone, Kraft Foods, Bosch, Singapore Airlines, Ericsson, Campbells etc. In 2004 I relocated with my husband and son to California. I graduated from New Venture West in San Francisco as a Certified Integral Coach and started my own coaching practice in 2007. I am fluent in German and English and have conversational skills in Spanish. Aside from my dedication to work and family, I am a passionate dressage rider. I am devoted to supporting women in business, with a focus on women in the lower and middle management who are aiming at a career in the higher ranks or who want to develop their own business.
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