“Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.” –Blaise Pascal
A few years ago when my husband Brad and I moved back to our hometown, we had a brief period where his entire immediate family all lived within a 10 mile radius of our apartment. Having come from a small family, I enjoyed the comparatively large and festive get-togethers we’d have. Brad’s sister would grill chicken on the BBQ. His parents would lounge on the patio talking baseball with his brother-in-law. Our older nieces would run around the yard, immersed in a make-believe world. And I would sit back, marveling at how it was possible for so many adults to all talk simultaneously and still carry on an intelligible conversation.
Sadly, one-by-one his family members moved away, and now with 2,000 miles between us we don’t get to see them nearly as much as we’d like. In the time that’s passed since they moved, my three nieces have transformed from babies into preschoolers and little kids into budding young ladies. Every time I see them now I get the urge to pinch their cheeks and pat their heads, old granny style, in disbelief at just how much they’ve changed.
Since I don’t get to see or talk to them frequently, I thought it would great to send them some cards to let them know I was thinking of them. When I was young girl, there were very few things more exciting than going to the mailbox and seeing a letter with my name on it. Getting mail was very grown-up; it made me feel like I was a part of some exclusive club. Getting mail that also contained stickers: well that was just icing on the cake.
I picked out three different Halloween cards and sticker sheets, one for each girl, and dropped them in the mail today. I look forward to seeing the girls in the upcoming months, but hope the cards will be a nice surprise until then.
This random act taught me that kindness doesn’t have to be elaborate in order to be meaningful. It can be as simple as a note saying hello. In my day to day routine, I often feel so busy and rushed that I don’t look outside my own bubble. I think I don’t have time to consider the needs of others. I have a very all-or-nothing attitude about kindness. Either I’m entirely invested in a grand gesture or I might as well not do anything at all. In reality, it’s the small things we do every day, those things that might even go unnoticed that help build momentum and create change. Change within ourselves and change in the world.