Europe, Travel

Thoughts on Kindness

April 12, 2014

Thoughts on Kindness - Sweet and Savoring

 Today I’m thinking about kindness. What can we do to practice kindness more? When was the last time you were the recipient of a random act of kindness?

The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.      –William Wordsworth

When I look back and think about it, one particular example stands out for me: I was in a small college town in Switzerland, in the middle of a September night, 2005. Somehow, I’d taken the wrong train or gotten off at the wrong stop, and I found myself completely disoriented and exhausted. I had no idea what to do: I was so tired that I could barely think. The worst part was, the train station was closed for the night.

Thoughts on Kindness - Sweet and Savoring

 The universe sent me some kind friends that night: a Ukranian girl named Yelena and three exchange students who attended the nearby university. Once I checked in with myself to make sure I felt comfortable with them, we all went back to their apartment. Let me say it again: I was exhausted. It had been a long traveling day and all I wanted was to sleep, eat, and find out how to get to Interlaken, my intended destination. These students cooked me pasta, then led me to a couch in a quiet room where I almost instantly passed out. (No funny business, I promise!) When I woke up everyone else was asleep, but the train schedule was perched on top of my backpack, with my train highlighted. I was elated.

Who knows what would have happened if I had stayed on a bench outside the train station all night? I certainly would not have been warm enough; I might have even been too anxious to get any sleep at all. Those students were my saviors, and I only wish that I had gotten their email addresses or something so I could properly thank them.

Thoughts on Kindness - Sweet and Savoring

I’d like to think that kindness comes naturally to me, just as that act of hospitality did for those nameless students in Switzerland. I make a conscious effort to smile at others, to say Good morning to those I pass on my street, to hold doors. But is there something more I could be doing? (Of course there is)

There is this: kindness is more important than how many daily views my blog gets. Practicing kindness takes precedence over what I don’t like about my hair, or reading more books, or planning my next trip. There is always more time to practice kindness and cultivate positive connections with each other.

Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.    –Kahlil Gibran


I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for April. Today’s post was K for kindness. Read more of my posts from this series here and thank you so much for stopping by!

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  • Catherine April 13, 2014 at 8:28 am

    I was stuck at a closed train station in Switerzerland, too! And it was the middle of the night and I had about 10% battery left on my phone…just enough to make a frantic phone call to my friend who lived about thirty minutes away. Although it was the kindness of a friend that picked up my shivering self, it was still very much appreciated 🙂

    I have to remember that kindness is not the same as niceness. I can be nice till the cows come home but a tiny bit kind. Kindness is what I’m after.

    • Christy April 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Oh that’s too funny. Stranded in Switzerland, unite!
      Such a good point about kindness vs. niceness. I think kindness has compassion inherently built into it.

  • Stephanie Faris April 13, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I rarely see very many random acts of kindness, but perhaps it’s because I’m not out around people as much as I used to be! I do always try to do the right thing. Even if I found a $100 bill on the ground, I’d turn it in if there was a way to do that (security office, etc.). I feel like it somehow comes back on you tenfold.

    Visiting from the A to Z Challenge signup page. Great to meet you!

    Stephanie Faris, author
    30 Days of No Gossip

    • Christy April 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      I know what you mean, Stephanie- I’m not around people as much as I used to be, either. When I lived in community, there were infinite opportunities to practice patience, tolerance, and loving compassion.
      You’ve got me really pondering that $100 bill on the ground conundrum now, haha!

  • AJ Lauer (@ayjaylauer) April 13, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Kindness sure is important! I think it’s interesting.. Most of us can come up with quite a few people who are kind, and maybe a couple that we’d consider to be unkind. I like to think that I usually fall on the ‘kind’ list… But yes I think we can all do more! Good post 🙂
    Thanks for stopping by this week!
    AJ @ Naturally Sweet
    An A-Z Co-host blog
    Tweet me! @ayjaylauer

    • Christy April 14, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      Thanks, AJ. I’ve been trying to think of ways to be more kind lately, rather than emphasizing my less-kind moments.

  • Katherine April 13, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Kindness is the most beautiful legacy a person can leave behind. I always find that when I’m feeling down on humanity, I am overwhelmed by the kindness people show. I have LOVED blogging because I’ve met wonderful people like you who are always so kind and supportive to me. Yes, we may not get 1,000,000 unique blog views a day (whatever that means), but kindness is so much greater. Super random, but I actually just pinned two pins about kindness on Pinterest! One of them said: “Kindness is always fashionable” and the other said “Kindness is a language in which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Those quotes were absolutely beautiful and so true! One kind word/action can be a small thing that revolutionizes someones world! This post was so lovely! I needed something happy like this, so thank you 🙂 Have a lovely week Christy xx
    Katherine recently posted…You’ll Be Happy After You Read This Post.My Profile

    • Christy April 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      “Kindness is the most beautiful legacy a person can leave behind.” <-- Yes, you said that so well! You never know what kind of effect an act of kindness will have on someone- only good things can come of it, though! Thank you so much for your sweet words, Katherine 🙂

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