Practicing Personal Accountability: Choosing Kindness

Did you know there’s an official “Random Act of Kindness” day? Not sure why it’s February 17, but that’s the truth.

So, when we received Jean’s story below, I got thinking, Can’t I be kind whenever I want? I mean, isn’t kindness about free will? You know, like a … choice?

Do I need to wait till February??? ?

Choose To Be Kind

As believers in the QBQ! book, you folks know that personal accountability is defined as …

… “Making better choices in the moment.”

Wouldn’t that apply to the concept of kindness? I can choose to be kind anytime I feel like it. Right?

With that in mind, enjoy Jean’s story about a person making that choice:

I asked my best friend of 52 years to go to breakfast with me to celebrate her 80th birthday. When we arrived, we were greeted by a delightful hostess who seated us. After ordering our food, I stood up to announce to all the other patrons within earshot that I had something special to say …

I then informed them all that it was my friend’s 80th birthday — and all the people clapped.

So we had a delicious breakfast and, as customers departed, they stopped by our table to say “Happy Birthday” to my friend. We waited for a few minutes for our check. I finally asked our server if she had it ready for me. She said, “Nope, I sure don’t—because the gentleman who’d been sitting at the second table to your right paid it!”

My friend and I were so surprised, we just stared at her in disbelief. We were delighted, to say the least.

As we left, my friend and I decided there really are still wonderful people in our land and they outnumber the bad.

So now I owe my friend another breakfast!

Jean, thank you for sharing this fun story!

Plan to Be Kind

Pastor Mark Hardacre, a Miller family friend, decided to set aside $1,300 to be used over one year in moments of giving.

Or kindness.

His goal: Use $25/week paying for someone’s meal at Chick-fil-A, buying Starbucks for the driver behind him, or contributing to a stranger’s grocery store bill.

These are choices Mark makes that help others and help him. In other words, they are emotional victories for Mark, too. They make his day. The old “It’s better to give than receive” principle coming to life.

We can plan to be kind.

Kindness Can Cost Nothing

Being kind doesn’t always involve money. When our son-in-law, Ricardo, had a truckload of topsoil delivered and dumped on his driveway so he could lay backyard sod, he was not counting on a Colorado thunderstorm. When his neighbor, Fernando, arrived home from his labor-intense construction job and saw the dark clouds, he appeared at Cardo’s side with a shovel. For more than an hour, the two men rushed to relocate the rich, brown dirt so the rain would not wash it down the street.

Now that’s kindness. Kudos to Fernando! 

When it comes to being kind, helpful, and generous, each of us can make that choice. Kindness can be my choice as I strive to serve people.

I bet it’s your choice, too!

Do you have an “act of kindness” you’ve witnessed (or performed) that you’d like to share here? If so, please do!



8 Responses

  1. Recently, my wife and I met our oldest daughter for breakfast. While enjoying our meal and conversation, I noticed a retired pastor sitting about 3 tables from us. I overheard a phone conversation hearing that it was his birthday. When he walked by our table, I reintroduced myself, since it has been a while since we last saw each other.

    I approached the cashier to pay the bill, and there learned their credit card machine was down. Carrying cash is something I do only on rare occasions. So, being about $20 short, I made arrangements to go to the bank and come back with the money.

    Overhearing the conversation, my pastor friend insisted on paying the remainder of the bill for us. He would not take no for an answer. So, for his birthday, this gentleman’s act of kindness was to pay for someone else’s breakfast.

  2. Whenever I found myself eating out and I would see people in uniform, military and otherwise, I would give the waitress or waiter some money to pay for their meals and told them to keep the rest. I didn’t want to make an issue of it so I asked that they not say anything until after I left. I did ask them to tell the men and/or women in uniform that it was from a very grateful citizen.

  3. It’s so weird that this one came up today. I was just talking about this to one of my coworkers yesterday and then again to a customer today. This past week we have been dealing with a few ‘cranky’ customers, but are we cranky back? No, we give our service with a smile even if there is no smile returned. Kindness is a choice you make for yourself even if others are not kind back to you. All you can do is continue to be kind and hope that your smile makes some one’s day.

  4. My wife and I traveling to a celebration of live for an uncle out of state stopped for supper at Cracker Barrel. As we were getting ready to tell how many in our party, an elderly lady came to counter about the same time. I motioned for her to go ahead. She said table for one. I was telling my wife that I hate to see that lady eating along. My wife said do you want to see if she would like some company, I said I would only if she would do the asking. I did not feel comfortable as a man to approach her. So wife went over asked and we joined her table for supper. Had the best time, her husband had just past a few weeks earlier. We bought her supper and she said she could not wait to tell her friends that total strangers came up etc. It was so much fun and we were so glad we did.

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