Have you seen the memes floating around reminding us to be kind because we are all going through a rough time? While we know and try to embrace the concept, our kind gestures usually extend to our friends and family. Honestly, it is easier to go out of our way for those we are in relationship with. While your acquaintances, friends and family can love you and offer deep and soothing peace, there is something about the kindness of a stranger that hits differently. They don’t love you, like you, or even know you. They don’t owe you anything or want something from you in return. It is random, kind, and unexpected. You never know who NEEDS to experience a random act of kindness that only a stranger can provide.
This morning, I was struggling with multiple current events that weighed on me in EVERY way. Although I had a difficult night’s sleep, I planned to meet my accountability partner for an early morning walk. While I was processing thoughts and feeling suffocated by my emotions, it happened. I was waiting to cross a busy street and a stranger stopped to let me cross the street. It only took 30 seconds, but that simple act of kindness brought a glimmer of hope and joy. It took me out of my head and made me smile even if for a few seconds.
Allowing a stranger to cross the street, go ahead of you in the line or at a stop sign are simple, quick, and free ways to offer kindness to a stranger. You can give a stranger your parking spot, leave a treat for an essential worker, or move a cart from an empty parking spot. While paying for someone’s coffee, meal, or groceries could be a small sacrifice for you, it could be a huge blessing for a stranger. There are a multitude of ways to express kindness to a stranger. I would love to hear how you were kind.