No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.

“Act in Kindness” is inspired by the memory of the everyday kindness and generosity Wendy and Shelby Mizée shared throughout their lives.

We ask that you join us in sharing their memory and kindness with others by doing an ‘Act in Kindness’ and passing along this card, so the kindness will continue to spread.  The hope is to set off a chain reaction from your kindness to one, who will share with another and another and another.  Please share this card and a simple act of kindness with someone else to help us keep Wendy and Shelby’s light shining throughout our community and beyond.

We would love to hear stories from the givers and recipients of kindness cards.  Those stories can be shared on this page or on our facebook page.

Procrastinating Kindness

So many times I have thought of a gesture that I should do for someone and time has slipped by and the deed is never done.  A neighbor loses an aging parent; I should make dinner for them. Three weeks later the thought brings guilt… Oh I should have made dinner for them, but too much time has passed. The same process happens with the encouraging card that I meant to send, but didn’t. That simple note of encouragement that might have brought a smile to their face, but procrastination got the better of me.  What was so much more important in my schedule than the few minutes to jot down a few positive words and stick it in the mail?

But I also know that “too much time has passed” is a terrible excuse for not following through. I received cards in the mail months, even a year, after Wendy and Shelby passed away, and every one of them reminded me that I was loved, not forgotten. It wasn’t a delay in a response, but a comfort to know that others were thinking and praying for me all those months later.

The blessing of showing kindness in a small or grand gesture never leaves me empty handed. Even still, there are days when I don’t manage these small acts. “Busyness” gets the better of me. Oh how many blessings I am missing out on! It is a joy to know another person may have a better day, or be kinder to the next person they meet – a simple act may be just what so many – myself included – need.

Have you ever run in to an old friend or a classmate at the grocery store and felt so good after having a hug and a chat? Why do we wait for that “bump into” encounter? A card is nice, but even a private message on FaceBook helps us stay in touch. A brief text message from a distant friend who took a few minutes to say “hello” can feel like an embrace. It reminds me I am loved and I am blessed to have people in my life who take even just a minute to stay connected with me, especially at a time when I feel disconnected from life, due to all of its busyness.

I do think “busyness” is becoming a problem:  work, house cleaning, errands, kid’s sports, church activities … but those aren’t going to stop. After all, they do bring joy to me and my family. But I can change the way I approach that busyness. I can put love and kindness at the center of it. Those times I feel that tug at my heart or nudge in my back to make a difference for someone, I can act on it. And when I do “Act in Kindness,” the warmth in my own heart can even outweigh the gesture itself.

For my family, February 8th is a day of remembering the 33 years of Wendy and 8 years of Shelby that we had. Through this project, the day has been transformed from one of sadness to one of honoring and celebrating those years of their love and kindness. This year my personal focus for the Act in Kindness project is to remember to be kind; everyone is busy, many are tired and feel disconnected, some are fighting their own difficult battles that are beyond comprehension. While it won’t solve everything, perhaps buying a stranger a cup of coffee, letting someone go ahead of me in the store, or simply smiling at people who cross my path will make someone else’s day a bit brighter, a bit easier, and be just what they need to keep their chins up.

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”
  —  Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Kindness Challenge

For kids, parents, teachers and helpful grandparents, the beginning of the school year is a fresh start, but with new beginnings also come new, hectic schedules.

It’s at times like this that I take a deep breath and remind myself of Rick Warren’s warning in the Purpose Driven Life; “Don’t confuse activity with productivity.” I know that some of the most productive moments in my day aren’t when I’m getting laundry done or checking things off my to-do list, but when I’m sitting in the idling car waiting to drop my 10-year-old, Josi, off at school. It’s in this quiet time between frantic activities that I get to hear about what’s really going on in her head and her heart – what her teacher said, what her friends did at lunch and the drama of the fifth grade.  Josi is headstrong and outspoken – a strength and a challenge – and as we sit in the car waiting for the day to start I try to help her think through how she can respond to everyday upsets in a kinder, more loving way.

Since our schedule is being rebuilt from the ground up anyway after a long summer, I have decided to be intentional about building in some more of this sort of quiet, productive time into our getting ready and winding down routines.

So Josi and I have started a kindness journal -writing down one kind action that we did for another and one kind gesture we received from someone else each day.  As I listen to Josi share about the kindness she has done or the kindness she received, it makes me smile.  Does that person know that their little tiny action was memorable enough that it made her smile at the end of the day?   (By the way- the kindness she remembers is that a sixth grader held the door for her) The simplicity of what kindness means to her is a good reminder of how simple it really is.

And it makes me wonder, even as I explain the idea of acting in kindness to a little girl who’s quick to feel and respond without thinking it all through, how often does kindness win out over frustration in my own life?

  Did I talk when I should have been listening?

Did I let someone cut in front of me at the grocery store because they had fewer items or looked in a hurry?

Did I see that someone was new to town or just visiting and looking lost and offer to point them in the right direction?

The list goes on…

So the challenge begins!  Every day we will log just one kind action we have done and one that we have received from someone else.   My hope and prayer is that this will inspire us and remind us of how BIG of an impact a SMALL ‘Act in Kindness’ can make.

 

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.
~ Mother Teresa

 

Spread the Kindness

Be inspired to find opportunities for kindness throughout the day. Spread the kindness around to strangers, friends and family and see how many smiles you can get. Here are some simple ideas to get you started.

  • Give a compliment.
  • Smile at someone.
  • Pick up litter.
  • Make your parents beds.
  • Ask why someone looks sad.
  • Leave flowers on someones front door.
  • Bake a cake for someone.
  • Tell someone you love them.
  • Give someone a big hug.
  • Make a card to thank your teacher.
  • Include people when you play.
  • Share your toys.
  • Hold open a door for someone.
  • Say “Good Morning”.
  • Pay for coffee for the person behind you in line.
  • Write a letter to a child who could use some extra attention.
  • Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor.
  • Put a coin in an expired meter.
  • Bring someone coffee.
  • Send flowers to a friend.
  • Offer to baby-sit.
  • Call or write a teacher who affected you.
  • Share a box of donuts with the school office, or co-workers.
  • Leave a generous tip.
  • Share a great book.