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.