Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Cure of Kindness ~ 5

   Taking the cure seriously

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." There is a reason that the greatest is love. Love heals. It challenges. It hopes. It believes. It inspires. It builds. It creates. It never fails. I know, I know, that's so idealistic. If it irks you, to bad, that's where I live. :) Today's is a story of why love is the greatest.

  As a probation officer - I see a lot of negativity on a regular basis. I know many in the same job are jaded and do not believe the things that I do. 
   The amazing thing is that this job has been humbling and inspiring when it comes to kindness, and the effect that has on a life. 

   I have one client in particular that I am thinking of, who can't be named for obvious reasons. He came to me after being in jail for a significant amount of time. He was utterly broken, anxious and physically ill from his time in prison. 
   A few people in town, including a pastor, a mental health worker and myself have shown kindness to this man since he has been released from jail, and I have watched him make many positive changes in his life. Last week he called me and told me how his life changes have been possible only because of the few positive supports that he has in his life. 
   He has started to attend a bible study with a pastor in town, he is clean from drugs and alcohol and he has made some really tough choices to better himself. 
   He tells me that the only thing that has changed is the fact that he has people in his life that are showing him kindness for the first time in his life. When I look at the difficult decisions and sacrifices that he has made, it humbles me. He is thanking me for putting in an extra 15 minutes here or there, and how that is something that he hasn't been given in the past. 
   Another coworker of mine gave this man his belt because his pants didnt fit anymore and he has no money. No alterior motive, just kindness. The effect that that seemingly small act had in this man's life is something difficult to wrap your mind around. 
   Some people have never been shown love and kindness. And sure, this man may still make some negative choices in his life, but these kindnesses stay with you. Everyone has the ability to drastically change another persons path through small acts of kindness. 
   This isn't the end of the struggle for him. But he doesn't know the effect he has on me when he calls and is doing well and breaking a cycle of addiction and abuse. 
  My clients inspire me daily, I work with marginalized people who only need someone to show them a little bit of unconditional love. And it makes my day brighter when they succeed.


More stories are always welcome. Share yours by emailing little_mother_@hotmail.com.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Cure of Kindness ~ 4

Just a dash of hope at the finish line

We have all heard the horrific stories of the past week. The fear, the carnage and the questions have permeated the news. Why bomb a marathon? Why children, families and people who run? I have no answers for things that make very little sense, however I do have a story. There were many stories of heroism, sacrifice and strength that day. This is a story of a small kindness that made a big difference to one woman. It stands out to me because I, like the man in this story, also work for the organization of YoungLife. My friend here in kelowna sent me this story and I am affirmed in my belief that I belong to a very cool community of people who love at every opportunity. Follow this link and read on.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The cure of kindness - 3

Timely Kindness

Kindness and community are treasures anytime, but there are certain moments when they mean so much more. When we are lonely, struggling and feeling hopeless, an infusion of kindness alters our perspective and lights up the darkness that threatens to consume. Here is a story from a friend of a friend. Although I have never personally met this woman, we share this common experience; kindness has brought hope in hard times.

Several years ago we went through a dark season in our family. My husband had lost his job. He became very depressed, which meant that he really struggled finding a new one and became very uninvolved at home. Christmas was coming, EI had run out, and my husband was working very part time. Our finances were unbelievably tight, plus our home situation was very bleak, with commitments at church, I didn't even have time to prepare, such as tidy the living room to put up the tree or bake cookies with my kids.

God started answering prayers I didn't even know how to pray. I couldn't afford to buy my husband a Christmas present and didn't have time to make one, but then I won a print from his favourite comic strip. A friend showed up at our door with a Christmas tree, cleaned our living room, and set up the tree with the kids. Then two days before Christmas, I was trying to figure out how I was going to find time to get to the store so that my family would have dinner on Christmas Eve and breakfast Christmas day. (The irony of my life - I was so busy planning a dinner for 100 homeless people that I couldn't find time to shop and feed my own family!)
Then the local police department showed up at our door. They blessed us with a Christmas hamper. As well as the traditional turkey dinner and gifts for the kids, it included extras such as a quiche that became Christmas Eve dinner, croissants that became Christmas morning breakfast, and it even had cookies my children could put out for Santa on Christmas Eve.
These three examples are the biggest ones of a season where everywhere I turned I found myself reminded that Christmas started with God's gift to us, and He is still blessing His children.

Elouise Simms

If you are someone you know wants to share a story here, email me at little_mother_@hotmail.com. I will keep posting these stories until I run out!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Cure of Kindness - Instalment 2!

It's the little things

I can honestly say that though grand gestures are a wonderful phenomenon and change lives, it's in the little moments of kindness that we realize how simple kindness can be for all of us. Sometimes it doesn't have to cost a ton of time or resources and the impact is still greater than you realize. Here is a story of such thoughtful actions from a young friend of mine in university....

Hey Sarah, here is my story

  My story happened twice. The first time I was standing in line at my University's cafeteria with a coffee. The line was getting quite long as it usually does around lunchtime. The man a couple people ahead of me reached the till and proceeded to pay for about 5 of us. I think we mostly had beverages, or small food items. I was blown away by the generosity. The second time I was actually buying a meal and when I went to pay, the lady said, "done." When I gave her a confused look she responded with, "Someone has left their student ID with me to pay for people's food." It was almost the end of the spring semester, and if you do not use all your food money as a res student it just goes back to the Uni. I couldn't believe what had happened. It is amazing, but these small acts of love have impacted me greatly. I have not done anything quite so grand, but I have paid for a couple coffees of strangers. 
  My story is really quite short, but I still remember it every time I am in line at my University cafeteria

If you or someone you know has a kindness story they would like to contribute, email me at little_mother_@hotmail.com. You never know how your story might brighten someone's day, or better yet, inspire brand new acts of kindness!