I got to speak for the first time in Aberdeen last Friday. The place was packed with new friends, and as I stood there, I felt grateful.
At the end of my talk, I asked if anyone wanted to share their own story of kindness. A woman named Liz raised her hand. (For the record, I think her name was Liz… I’m going to go with it until someone corrects me.)
Liz told a story about her son and how she was walking with him out of his elementary school recently. He was being pokey and she was in a hurry, so you know how that goes.
As they walked away from the school, they noticed a little girl in front of them with a battered up backpack. The zipper had seen better days and papers were falling out.
Liz and her son helped the little girl pick up her things. As they got out of ear shot, Liz casually mentioned that maybe they could get her a new backpack as an act of kindness.
Liz’s little boy stopped. Even though he knew his mom was in a rush, he wasn’t. He went back to the little girl, unloaded all the stuff from his backpack and handed it to her.
He saw a need and he intended to fill it now. Not maybe perhaps someday in the future. Now.
Somewhere along our way to becoming adults, we are taught to be patient. We are instructed to think things over, analyze a situation to death and then make a decision.
The thing is, we can always talk ourselves out of kindness. We can easily let it pass us by and justify our reasons for not meeting the need.
Sometimes the need is just a kind word. A smile. A moment of our time. Or a new backpack.
Let’s rewind the clock and learn something from the littles in our life, like how to be impatient when it comes to kindness. Let’s be like Liz’s son and insist on helping now.