Isn’t it interesting how easily your day can be interrupted? You wake up in the morning with big plans, and your day is laid out perfectly. Sometimes the plans are fun and sometimes they are mundane, but inevitably, they are all susceptible to change, whether you like it or not.
For example, you may be having a great time with your family when all of a sudden, the tire pops on your car, and you wind up spending the next two hours waiting for a tow. Everyone is hungry, tired and has to use the bathroom. The fun family outing turns into the day that will never end.
Or you wake up feeling high on life until someone calls with bad news or even uses a tone of voice that sits prickly under your skin and kind of nags at you. Everything you do the rest of the day is colored by that one conversation.
Kindness works the same way, only instead of darkening your mood, it’s an immediate lift to your senses.
I truly believe that you can change your emotions and therefore turn a stormy day sunny just by doing intentional acts of kindness. But if you’re really lucky, like Kelsey from Fargo, the act of kindness will find you.
“I thought I was just taking my son to skate at a local indoor hockey rink on a day off from school, but it turned into such a rewarding experience.
“As we were skating around the rink, I noticed a guy who was trying to get his skates on for quite some time. I started talking with him and found out he was 75 and has Parkinson’s disease, which affected his movement. He hadn’t skated for a few years, and all he wanted to do was try one lap around the ice.
“When he got on the ice he was really struggling. I asked if I could help him. He was shy about it, but agreed. I put my arm around him and we went around about a dozen times nice and slow. My son ended up falling and getting hurt so I told the man to hold onto the boards until I could return. After kissing owies, and making my boy feel better, I turned around to check on the man. He had started to go around the rink by himself, holding onto the boards. Finally he let go and started going on his own.
“The conversation I had in those 30 minutes was probably the best conversation I’ve had in a long time, and the smile that he had after he was able to go around by himself seriously made my day. Still to this day, I’ll never forget that man and the life lesson he taught me that I was able to share with my son.”
Thanks for sharing your story, Kelsey. If you really want to turn around your day, never let a chance to be kind skate past you.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is a writer, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Ohio University’s men’s head basketball coach Saul Phillips. Her column runs every Saturday. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.