Please join us in welcoming Kristy of The Playful Parent to the blog this week. She has graciously agreed to share with us a wonderful story of kindness.

Drops of kindness create a rippled effect. Just as the smallest drop of rain will form countless ripples. Today I encourage you to show acts of kindness and love to others. Even though it may seem easy for you to hold open the door or say thank you to your waitress, does not mean that it is insignificant to the other person. You never know when a seemingly benign act will come back with tremendously uplifting results.

Little Acts of Kindness

A month ago my family was out eating lunch and, like usual, the children finished eating before my husband and I. To keep them occupied we took out a few Thomas the Tank Engine Minis for them to play with quietly at the table. We always keep a small bag of entertainment with us to encourage the kids to remain at the table so that we can enjoy a few minutes of normal eating.

Today I encourage you to show acts of kindness and love on the lives of others. Even though it may seem easy for you to hold open the door or say thank you to your waitress, does not mean that it is insignificant to the other person. You never know when a seemingly benign act will come back with tremendously uplifting results.

A few tables over, a grandmother was out with her three grandchildren. Just like our little ones they had eaten quickly and were ready to play. The sweet boy at that table was sad that he didn’t have a train to play with. My three year old son showed a side of him that I had never seen before; he reached out to show a stranger empathy and compassion. He asked me if he could let his new friend play with one of his trains.

Of course, I was open to the gesture and my heart was overjoyed to see my son share one of his favorite toys with a stranger. It was heartwarming to see his new friend light up and play with the train contently. He played with the train in the manner of every child, running it across the table, up and down the booth, and across the top of the booth seats.  You could also hear random train toots and the conversation as imaginative play began in earnest.

After about five minutes, I heard tears from the table. I looked back to see our new friend leaning over desperately trying to find the train that had just been dropped behind the booth. Unfortunately, the booth at the restaurant was bolted to the wall and the tiny toy was irretrievable. Our son was saddened by the loss of his train (He hates losing his favorite toys!), but put on a brave face and he told his new friend that it was okay and shared another one.

We reassured the family we have duplicates of the lost train at home. The grandmother voiced feeling horrible about the situation, but my husband and I assured her it would be just fine. Both families eventually packed up and left, and although our son asked for “Gordon”, the lost train, on the way home, the whole episode was soon forgotten by us.

One of the recurring themes in Thomas and Friends is friendship and teamwork.  Even though the engines have their differences and disagreements, by working together they find that they can all be really useful engines. 

Through small acts of kindness our son learned that he could bring joy to others and earn a new friend. I love that I could use my son’s favorite TV show to have a conversation about how good it feels to be kind to others and to share what we have.

It seems that day at the restaurant was what sparked a fire in us all to reach out to those in need and show random acts of kindness more often. My children (who are separated by 2 years) are in the process of learning to share with each other and the episode at the restaurant provided an excellent teaching example of kindness.  

When you see good deeds between children it is especially heartwarming  It feels good to know you’ve touched someone’s life even if in some small way. I see smaller examples of this between my kids more and more now, such as when they will ask for 2 of something in order to give one to their brother, or coming up to give a hug or pat on the back when the other is sad.

About a month had gone by when we were eating at our usual Sunday lunch spot. The kids were once again done eating and engrossed in their trains when a little girl came over to our table and gave us a package of three new Thomas Minis. I was a bit taken aback and didn’t recognize her at first. I went over to the table to make sure there wasn’t some mistake. As soon as I greeted the family I recognized the grandmother right away. She complimented my children’s loving hearts and how important it was for her to surprise them with a new pack of trains as a way of saying thank you. Apparently, a few days after the original lunch, she had gone out to purchase a replacement and had carried it with her in hopes of running into us again.

little-drops-of-kindness-ig

This small act brought a great amount of joy to my family. It was probably the first comment I had received in a long time about my boys or my parenting. Which that alone brought tears of joy to my eyes. My kids were delighted to have a new toy. They both wanted to run over and say thank you for this gift. It was proof of the lessons that we teach our kids about the power of selfless giving. All day long my son kept saying how nice his new friends were and wanted to share his story with all his family, friends, and neighbors.

I encourage everyone to reach out beyond their comfort zone and to take the plunge to show compassion to others.  My children showed the smallest of kindness to someone they had never met before, and it resonated back to them.  This one simple act will stay with my family and provide a reminder that goodness is alive and well in our community. Remember that one random act of kindness can go on to create a large wave. If we encourage our kids to be kind and lead by example our children’s generation will be the ones to set this world in the right direction.

As we approach the holidays it is important to remember that giving is more important than receiving. When we are given the opportunity to assist others, we should take it.  Happiness is not a finite resource, sharing it causes it to grow anew within us. The more we share, the more we have.

Kiristy is a licensed professional counselor turned domestic designer. She documents her adventures with her two sons and provides family friendly free resources that lead to the love of learning at The Playful Parent.

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