I'll admit it. I've been watching a lot of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic lately. The teenager got me and the girls hooked. If you haven't watched the series, this is not My Little Pony of the past. The writing and animation are fantastic as are the messages about friendship. You can catch many of the episodes on YouTube and the whole series so far is on Netflix.
One of the main characters is Fluttershy, a Pegasus pony (with wings) who's job is to tend to the animals. It's her special gift. She also embodies the element of kindness because she is very kind and quiet and caring and shy.
I was thinking about acts of kindness that I've seen in my life tonight. I'd thought I'd share a few.
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At the beginning of my life, I lived with my parents in a condo. It was actually more of a townhouse or row house and the three main buildings that made up the complex were arranged in a giant "U" with a courtyard in the middle. There was a main sidewalk that formed a "T" and then every 2 units had their own sidewalk leading up to their shared stoop. In between all of that was a lot a grass. Lots of grass. There was another common area by the parking lot too. So, the complex hired someone to mow the grass.
Summer in Wisconsin could be hot. Not nearly as hot as in Texas but still hot enough to be uncomfortable. I remember in July and August on especially hot days, my mother would bring a glass of lemonade or ice water out to the guy mowing the lawns.
We moved to a new house when I was 8 and 13 years after that, my father died at our house. An ambulance and firetruck came to the house. Mom had to ride in the firetruck on the way to the hospital and the driver was...none other than the guy who used to mow the lawns at the condo. And he remembered her as the lady who always used to get him something to drink on hot days.
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Fast forward a few days to my father's funeral. We had a 3 hours visitation and we probably could have gone 4 hours with all the people who showed up. A couple showed up and we didn't know them at all. Before my father lost his job, he worked for a small village called Pewaukee and one of his jobs was to help okaying new homes. It was going through a bit of a population boom and there were a lot of new homes and sometimes there was a wait on the building inspector. This couple had built a new house and needed to be out of their home but there was a wait on the building inspector and they were going to be homeless for a bit if they couldn't move in. So my dad pulled some strings and went out of his way to make sure they could move in on time. Years later, they remembered him and his kindness when they saw his obituary in the paper.
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When I was 20, I got a job in Colorado for 10 weeks working for a church with my friend Becky. We were at church on the weekend planning for VBS (which is a monumental undertaking, I might add) when a stranded motorist knocked on the door. He was from out of town and his vehicle had broke down so we let him in and let him use the phone to contact his friend that he was visiting. The friend was a ways away so he sat and chatted with him while he waited. We explained what we were doing at the church and he told us that he was Catholic but he hadn't been to church for awhile because he didn't like how they had changed the service. He also didn't read the Bible all that much because he said he had problems understanding it. So we talked about the NIV (which our church uses) and how we liked it because it was easier to understand and how a study bible can help with parts that don't seem to make sense. And we talked about what our church believed too.
A month later, we were practicing some music in the church, when the same guy comes in and hands us each a package. He didn't stay long, just gave us the packages and left. Inside each one was a new NIV study Bible (the one with the faux leather cover) and a $50 bill. We were shocked. Guess our kindness made an impression.
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Some of us may not ever see anything come of the kindness we show to others but it should not discourage us from being kind to others.