quote about kindness
The other day, after I shared a story about my mom on Facebook there was a short discussion of seniors. Brigid Mclinden Duffy shared some of her experiences and thoughts on kindness toward and appreciation of older adults. I thought it was so touching that I wanted to share her words. I hope they inspire you too to think about how your actions can brighten someone else’s day.
In her own words…
“I told a very elderly man in church today that he has a wonderful smile! You would have thought I gave him $1000 dollars. He was tickled and his shoulders pulled up out of their slouch, he stood a little more erect and it almost looked like he was a little younger all of a sudden!! But besides caring, kind words, we must not forget the gift of touch! Some go years after the death of a spouse or friend, never feeling a hug, a gentle kiss on the check or a nice back rub! Yet who of us would want to end up never experiencing the kindness of a hand on ours, the gentle tickle of a kiss on the cheek or the back of our neck, the warmth and soothing feel of someone’s head on your shoulder?
Another perspective . . .
When I am walking into a store or church and an elderly person is moving slowly they often say oh go ahead around me. Well I don’t. I tell them they are giving me the gift of time, calmness and relaxing. And I thank them. I feel this takes away the sense of feeling a bother and gives them a sense of being able to do or give back to another. We each gave gifts to share. The bright side is realizing and accepting the gift of another!
Our gifts of touch, smiles, time and even just a simple comment can help someone get through a very lonely day or difficult day!”
– Brigid McLinden Duffy
Written by Good Things Going Around intern, Indian Hill High School student Andrea Francisco
When I give back, it makes me realize how even the smallest acts of kindness can make a difference. Even just a smile or simply telling someone to “Have an awesome day” can cause such a positive effect on the world. One of the best things about giving back, such volunteering as a Vacation Bible School Guide, is that you get to meet so many people that would otherwise be strangers to you. Just having a positive conversation with someone you don’t know very well can uplift both people and turn their days around.
I believe that giving back is truly a chain reaction, like in Rachel’s Challenge, whose representatives came to our school a few years ago. Rachel, who was sadly killed in the Columbine School shootings of 1999, inspired the world with her acts of kindness and belief in the “chain reaction”. Rachel wrote before she died, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go”. In my life, I sometimes struggle with this concept, conversely thinking that I must do something big in order for it to have any lasting effect. However, Rachel reminds me that this is not true, because even a small act of kindness will make a huge difference, as this act may inspire countless of other acts of kindness.
When I really put my full heart into volunteering and helping others, I realize how easy it is for me to positively influence others and give them confidence. It warms my heart when I see the little kids in my Vacation Bible School group following my lead by having fun dancing during worship time and playing the fun games. They really look up to you as someone to trust and respect — even if I am just an ordinary person. When giving back, I am amazed at how treating others with respect, kindness, and enthusiasm can change their mood and make their day.