Friday, January 28, 2011

The Kindness

I’m sitting in a board meeting, lots of community and business leaders. At end of the meeting, one of my fellow board members comes up to me and hands me two CDs. “What’s this?” I ask.

He goes on to tell me how he’s been collaborating on a book about the history of a radio station in my hometown. It’s the radio station I grew up with, where I first heard “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Surfer Girl,” and the entire “Sgt. Pepper” album. In other words, this radio station changed my life.

Now this fellow, who is a big shot and well liked in broadcasting, is an acquaintance of mine, at best. We don’t hang out, have beers together, or “tweet” one another. I see him once a month at these board meetings.

But this man remembered that I had admired something I instantly recognized that was hanging on his office wall: a framed “Top 40” list from the 1960s that my hometown radio station used to print and distribute every week to drugstores, record shops, and other local businesses. I hadn’t seen one since I was a teenager.

The guy remembered this! It's been more than a year since I was in his office. Yet when he received CDs of all of the radio station jingles, from 1962 to 1981, as thanks for helping with the book on the station’s history, he made copies for me.

The kindness. The kindness.

Next day, I drive over to my favorite breakfast spot. Yeah, I’m a regular. It’s wonderful and comforting to see the same faces each morning and for the waitress to bring your coffee and oatmeal with brown sugar without waiting to ask what I want to order (let’s just say, I’m consistent).

As I get up to the front door on this chilly January morning, a tall gentleman holds the door for me. Gentleman, indeed. He looks familiar, yet I do not know his name, nor do I recall having ever spoken with him. Guess he’s a “semi-regular” at the pancake house.

As we walk through the door of the restaurant, he asks me, “How’s your dog?” Wait, I don’t know this fellow. But he asks in such a concerned and gentle voice. I realize that somehow, he must have heard some conversation among the “regulars” that my Jack Russell terrier had been at the Emergency Vet overnight (she’s fine now).
That happened more than a week ago. And like I said, I don’t even know this man.

The kindness. Again.

My heart is full. These aren’t miracles. They are joy.

I’m grateful.


  1. Jan, I have the same Top 40 list in some of my father's memorabelia! WHB!!How fascinating!

    Being aware of and feeling gratitude for the kindnesses that come are way are perfect examples of living with intent.

    What a beautiful post, Jan. By the way, your dog and your breakfast both look fabulous! :-)

  2. Hi, Jo, and thanks for reading. Glad you made it safely home from KC. I think we're all living in "Blizzard-ville" for now.

    It's funny how the little things like an old top 40 list can affect you deeply.

    I'm going to sit back now and catch up on my reading of your beautiful blog posts. Peace.

  3. I love how you summed up your experiences: "The kindness. The kindess." Kindness is so much a desired and overlooked trait these days. Hold a door open for people, and they seem shocked. Give someone with fewer items your place in line, and they are amazed. I wish we all could look more at the kindness visible in our world instead so much of the ugliness.

  4. Marva, thanks so much for reading -- and commenting!

    It is really time for wine together.