my mother is one of the most thoughtful people i know. it is a quiet consideration for others – easy to take for granted unless you are paying attention. when i was in south africa she sent me a letter every single week i was there with the exception of while i was recovering in pretoria and unable to get mail. she calls relatives to check on them. she remembers my friends and what they are going through and sends up random prayers.

my mother’s kindness makes me look at the world and what i do…what is done for me. i was away this weekend and early this week. after a frenzied trip to the airport that almost ended with a missed flight a friend of mine showed kindness to my mother’s scale. talking me through direction and then driving my car home so i could avoid the expense of parking in the long-term lot (i couldn’t find the place i was supposed to park in a timely manner). R was calm and calming and a voice of reason and reassurance.

the last person to board the plane – they closed the doors once i was in – i got a reassuring text that all was well. and as no good deed goes unpunished, my return flight was scheduled for 11:30pm and R – leaving the next day for a cross country trip – was gracious enough to pick me up. looking at my car in the awkward garage light and i realized it was clean…inside and out. R washed my car. when pressed about why, the simple response, “you had some rough travel, i thought it would be nice to come home to a clean car.”


i said thank you – more than once. i hope R knows the kindness is not taken for granted, that i am appreciative. in my life there have always been moments of kindness that resonate with me for years after the fact…korey handing me his umbrella at the onset of a tallahassee summer deluge as i trudged to class, donte calling and paying for a cab to make sure i got home from the newspaper safely, kathy packing for me before i left for the peace corps…this latest one ranks among them.

people do nice things all the time…we are a society full of niceties and i appreciate them. but kindness, for me, extends beyond that. for me kindness is about someone else -an equation without self in it. for all the kindness that i have known in my life…and i am honored to know plenty of it…i am thankful.


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