Monday, February 21, 2011

Choose to be kind

The other day, my friend and I were out for lunch at a popular shawarma place downtown. We bumped into a friend, someone that we see from time to time at social events.

Before our friend left, he came by our table and dropped off 2 deserts for us, just like that, for no good reason, other than just to be kind. It was a nice gesture that got my friend and I talking about when the last time we did something nice for someone else was.

I'm not talking about typical day-to-day kindness that goes on between you and your loved ones. The kind gestures we do at home are always there - I often come home with little surprises for my children, or give them special treats for no good reason at all. And I'm not talking about spending quality time with your kids, either, because I think that's a given. I love being engaged with my children, playing with them, going to the museums and local attactions, and being totally involved with them when I'm not working - being together as a family.

I'm talking about doing something out of the ordinary. Showing someone else - someone who is very deserving - how much they really do mean to you.

I'm talking about doing something nice for a complete stranger.

I'm talking about helping your favourite charity.

This week, the city I live in is celebrating Kindness Week. People all across town will be doing something extra kind for other people all week long.


Like bringing in baked cookies for co-workers. Dropping off food at the local food bank. Helping the elderly. Buying coffee for the person in line behind them. Giving their magazines to a doctors office. Putting change in an expired parking meter.

The other night, out for dinner with my friends from the Yummy Mummy Club, I realized I didn't have my wallet with me. Luckily my friend quickly came to my rescue. It's those little gestures that are much appreciated!

What am I doing for Kindness Week?

First, I'm going to thank my grandmother for coming over almost every single morning to take care of my children while I go to work. I don't think she understands how much we appreciate and love her. She's at my house by 7 every day, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of my boys, always with a smile on her face.

This week I'll be treating her to a gift certificate to her favourite salon to show her how much she means to me.

I'm also going to go to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) to drop off a few bags filled with almost-new toys and books that my children no longer need.

Over the weekend, my oldest son and I spent an hour going through all his toys in his basement playroom, and he loved the idea of giving away things other children could get good use out of.

CHEO will always hold a special place in my heart, because my son was treated there several times, for a few kidney infections and for a severe case of pneumonia, a case so severe he was there for over two weeks and needed to go through surgery. The 4th floor, east wing is a familiar place for us and every year, I do what I can for CHEO. They are the one place I donate to financially, year after year.

This week, I will also go out of my way to keep a smile on my face, and will try to not get annoyed with people who drive too slow or come to complete stops going over speed bumps.

I will grin and bear it! I will be more kind! I will not fight with my sister! I will not yell at any family members! I will also buy the person behind me their coffee at Starbucks.

Thanks, Rebecca, for asking me to write about Kindness Week!

I'd like to ask you now... what are you doing for Kindness Week?

Even if you don't live in the same city as I do, perhaps you'll be prompted to do something extra kind for someone else in your life this week, or even for a complete stranger!

How will you be kind this week? How will you Pay It Forward?

13 comments:

Neena said...

Such great ideas!!! I love this kind of stuff!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

So funny. My friend and I were just talking about that yesterday. Specifically, helping out friends in need without any consideration of reciprocity. That it really shouldn't come up because it's a given. Help is given where needed and it's understood that the one being helped will help in return when there is opportunity. We're continuously astounded by petty expectations for returned favors. Does that really warrant. Discussion?! Among friends!?

Jessica said...

I love this post! I wish more people would be kind, it really does make a difference!

I am an outlet shopping addict, so I always print extra coupons and give them to strangers who have an armful of items to purchase. I am going to the Ralph Lauren outlet tonight and have printed off 3 additional 20% off coupons and look forward to seeing people light up like Christmas trees when I hand them the coupons.

I am also walking in an upcoming charity walk to help end pediatric cancer. I am supporting a local 12 year old boy who has an extremely rare cancer. I couldn't imagine what this family has gone through and just want to let them know people care!

http://theunemployedmom.com/2011/01/21/no-fear-just-faith-help-end-pediatric-cancer/

Nenette AM said...

I love it, Loukia! I'll be thinking about what to do this week. So many possibilities!
And it doesn't have to be a grand gesture too. Something small, like holding the door open for someone (which we always do already), is still a big deal.

We too donate the kids' best toys to the Children's Hospital. Lam stayed there when he was 2 and never forgot the toys he was able to play with between tests. He wanted to give back.

Passions and Musings said...

I'm just glad you found your wallet. ;)

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Great idea Loukia! I love this, and am going to plan some things to do now!

Pres. Kathy said...

I love this idea! I wish more places would do something like this! I think I am going to try to do something extra nice every day.

Lady Mama said...

This is such a great idea. I think I will try to make an effort to do something nice this week. Maybe something for a friend that they weren't expecting. Thanks for the prompt!

Avitable said...

I will try not to punch people in the face who annoy me.

Marinka said...

This is so lovely.
I was on the receiving end of a friend's kindness recently and it was amazing. She came over and helped me organize my closets. I hate that kind of stuff and she sacrificed her Sunday for me. I'll never forget it.

Sandra said...

I love the whole "pay it forward" idea. I have no idea what I'm doing for "Kindness Week." Guess I'll have to do something now, though, won't I.

Brittany at Mommy Words said...

I love this idea and adore having reminders. I try to do something special and random as often as I can and to show my kids how wonderful it is. I am so happy to see you have a whle week for it in Ottowa. Wonder if I could get something like that going here in Charlotte?

CaraBee said...

What a lovely idea. Unexpected kindness is the very best. I love surprising people with nice things and it is so wonderful to be the recipient. Good for you!

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