There is Always Room for Kindness

This afternoon, Cora and I were nearly "backed over" in the parking lot of Trader Joe's. We were crossing from our car to the store between two stopped cars that were being held up by someone else leaving a parking spot. The car we were walking behind started backing up to make a little extra room for the car in front of him to get out. It was obvious he didn't see us. I yelled, "Stop!" And the driver did. A second later, we rounded the car to see a man looking out of his window and back at us. He asked if we were okay.

I didn't say anything. I just kept walking. My heart was racing. The adrenaline that kicked in to make sure my girl wouldn't get hit took away my rational self that knew no harm was intended. Essentially, I gave this man the cold shoulder. [And possibly a scowl.]

I kept thinking about him the whole time we were in the store, and how I wished I'd reacted differently. After we purchased our few items, we went back to our car, and I found a receipt sitting in one of the cupholders. I opened the console looking for a pen, and found a Sharpie. I wrote something like this:
Sorry I didn't acknowledge you when you almost backed into us. It was kind of you to ask if we were okay.
I ran over to his car and put the note under one of his windshield wipers. His reaction could have been different, he could have instantly become defensive, as so many of us do even/especially when something is our fault. Instead, he showed concern. I didn't want him to hesitate to show anything less in the future because of my reaction.

My favorite t-shirt from a decade or so ago said "Kindness can change the world." I believe it can. It does so through mostly tiny, often unseen acts that can happen every single second of every single day.

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. -Henry James
(Malibu Bluffs Park)


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