She stood there at my door–a respectable six feet away—and placed a little box full of lettuce on my porch floor. It was a small, cardboard box that had held crackers. You could see the pale green leaves peeking out of the end as if bursting to escape.
So, when was the last time someone came to your door and left you lettuce? (Grocery Gateway doesn’t count).
It was from her garden. The leaves were still warm from the morning sun. Included were two tiny radishes, each about the size of a finger nail. I realize that it’s not just a “country” thing—friendly neighbours in the city can be equally as spontaneous and thoughtful. But during these times of so much fear and just plain bad news, any gesture like this was, well, kind.
Being kind cannot be overrated. It sounds like a small thing, but somehow, imbedded in those four letters is a lot of power. If you need proof, just see how one small act can wipe out an entire morning of bad news, or a driver who honks at you for no reason.
Kind is probably the one thing that can keep us all on the side of optimism these days.
Everyone I talk with (Zoom with, to be exact) says the same thing. The news is so awful, and that’s in addition to COVID. What’s happening around the world seems to keep highlighting the worst in human nature. Don’t even get me started on leadership. And unfortunately, I’m not sure the news media is getting it wrong. More than once I’ve heard the cry, “Have we not learned anything from the past?”
Can anyone send me a sign that we’re not all headed to hell in a handbasket (I’ve always wanted to use that expression.)
The sign is in those small acts of kindness: the anonymous stranger who smiles at you instead of blowing a whistle when you almost bump into her; the store manager who laughs when you head the wrong way down the aisle (instead of chastising you); the friend who sends us a card in the mail “just because”; the neighbour who cuts your side of the lawn; and yes, the lettuce left on your front porch.
Thank you, Gloria. And thank you, everyone out there, who’s spreading a bit of kindness these days. It’s something everyone can do, without exception. And good grief — we need it!
P.S. With apologies for the pun in the title!
“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”
― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility