My friend Leslie says that when she’s not being her “big mature adult person”, she’s being her “little petty person”.  She rubs her small hands together in delight about her master plan as she says “little petty person”.  This post is dedicated to Leslie, because her phrases make me laugh.

Several years ago, I attended a conference where Beth Moore spoke about kindness. If you’re not familiar with Beth, she’s a Christian speaker. She has a southern accent and big blond hair. I definitely did not like her much until I heard her speak. Then I learned that Beth is very kind and very real. I wrote down what she said about kindness and the card is still on my bulletin board:

  • Kindness is not weakness
  • Kindness is not an action, but a disposition
  • Kindness wears down when we do
  • Kindness looks pain in the face
  • Kindness is a Savior
  • Kindness has good memory
  • Kindness craves an outlet
  • Kindness leaves a legacy

Kindness is under-rated. I often get the opportunity to show kindness to strangers when I sell jam. There are always the kids who just want a handful of pretzels or a cracker with no jam, or a cracker loaded with Strawberry fruit spread rather than the “weird” flavor they’re not used to eating. I oblige them quickly and with a genuine smile. Because it’s easy to be kind and I spoil. One customer told me I was an “easy mark”. He was correct.

I won’t say that being more kind is my New Year’s resolution. It won’t work. My big announcements almost always go sideways. Instead, I’m going to remember the word when I’m at a market and someone who is a bit socially awkward won’t stop chatting with me. Or when an older gentleman takes huge sample spoons of jam and walks away. Or when a small child wants to dip 300 pretzels in the samples. Or I’m not selling much and I ask a woman why she is buying individual flowers and learn they are in honor of a friend who passed away. For me, kindness is being aware, looking around and really seeing other people.

P.S. My favorite Leslie-ism is “pig in a python”. Leslie used it to describe a sharp increase in expenses during one month of a year. “You know, even even even, then BLIP!, then even even even.” She held her hand steady then created a hill effect and said, “you know, like a pig in a python”. I about fell off my chair laughing. Leslie is like that. And you’re welcome. Happy New Year!


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