There is a woman in my town who does a lot of good. I mean A LOT. She and her husband have been blessed with a successful local business, and they are constantly pouring into the community. The thing is, they do it so quietly, unless you’re really paying attention and perhaps digging a little, you’d never know the identities of the “anonymous” donors.
I happen to take a special interest in kindness and those who are radically loving others, both openly and incognito. I remember the kind things I hear people doing because I want to try out their ideas. Their kindness is contagious.
Many months ago, I got a card from this wonderfully giving woman. On the front was the Wonder Woman logo and inside was a pack of Wonder Woman postage stamps and a beautiful note.
The first part of the note said this:
“In honor of my mom, my personal Wonder Woman, on Mother’s Day 2017, I’ve decided to acknowledge one woman a week for a year. My mom has always been one to build you up, yet keep you humble. She can do it all, yet never seems inconvenienced. She thinks of others first … always! She treats all people the same. She recognizes and celebrates the goodness in everyone.
Every time you use one of these stamps, I hope you remember that you are admired for your wonderful traits!”
I was wowed by the way this woman was honoring the kindness of her mom by showing kindness to others. That would have been enough, but below that typed explanation was a handwritten greeting that said this:
I’m pretty sure you have super powers! I am constantly amazed at the goodness in your heart that you share with everyone! You are in a position and have life experiences that make a lot of women aloof or unavailable to some women, yet you remain as humble as anyone I know. I believe that comes from your faith and the belief that God’s teaching that all of our life experiences, good and bad, are opportunities to grow and spread God’s love. Thanks for being an example to us all.”
You guys. Those words. Wow. Who gets to hear such messages of affirmation from someone who is nearly a total stranger? I felt beyond blessed and was more adamant than ever that I wanted to pass along this type of encouragement to another.
Then I started thinking maybe other people would want to put this sort of kindness into action too.
I reached out to the woman who sent me the card and asked for permission to share it.
She responded by saying, “It’s funny that your message comes when it does because I have been gathering up the texts, emails and thank you cards that I received from this project. I have printed them out and am putting them in a pretty box to give to Mom for Mother’s Day. My hope is that she can see the impact she has made on others with her kindness, as this is where this whole project originated.”
This may have begun with a project to honor a special mom, but I’m certain the ripples will continue to spread far beyond one family.
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. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.