Dana Martin Writing

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Dana Martin Writing

“K” is for Kindness

Grateful April in the A-Z Blogging Challenge

When I first considered joining this A-Z blogging challenge, I seemed to focus only on the early letters: A, B, C, D… and I thought, “Gee, this will be easy!” I purposely forgot that the alphabet comes with prickly letters, too–the ones that don’t happen at the beginning of words very often: I, Q, U, X, Y, Z… and K (today’s letter). And when you’re blogging with a theme (gratitude), your word choices are even further limited.

Kettle chips. I love them. That was the first “K” word that came to mind. Really? I blogged on health for “H” and I now my only choice for “K” was kettle chips? How about kids? Overused. Kindred spirits? That idea had some merit, but my friends are always at the top of my list. Kym!! She’s my new friend and an excellent blogger, I am grateful for her. But until we have coffee (a girlfriend rite of passage), I won’t know enough to dedicate an entire blog to that sweet, amazing, beautiful girl.

Then, it hit me. The constant theme in all of my posts in one way or another is this: Kindness. I am grateful for every bit of it, aren’t we all?

I’m a cat person, but even I can admit that if kindness could manifest itself in live form, it would be a dog. Kindness happens for no reason–it jumps up and licks you in the face when you least expect it, and it wants nothing in return. The only job of kindness is to bring joy. Sometimes you can take it for granted, but when it suddenly isn’t around anymore, you miss it. Kindness is like that; it comes out of nowhere and touches your heart.

I am grateful for every act of kindness, from the stranger holding the door to the pay-it-forward Starbucks driver in front of me. Once, when I reached the window, the little barrista greeted me with jubilance announcing that the cost of my drink had been paid by the car that just drove away. Would I like to continue the trend? I said yes, and she smiled even bigger: I was the 14th person in a row to say yes.

Those are unforgettable kindnesses because they are big and impressive. But what about the small kindnesses? One time, my sister-in-law told me that when she opened the hall cupboard to get a bath towel before her shower, there was only one left. Her husband, seeing only one large towel, had used a hand towel to dry off and left her the giant bath-size towel. If she hadn’t told me, that kindness would have slipped into oblivion. But today, I still think about it.

What about the flowers Rob picks and leaves by my coffee mug? What about the sticky notes Jordyn left all over my computer screen with her precious stick figures I love so much? The meal Allie cooked, the carpet Cam vacuumed, the text Jarret sent, the books Jerry brought, Amber’s sweet wine bottle? And what about the scripture Jaisyn wrote by hand and then taped to my car visor? She didn’t say a word–just let me find it on my own.

My mom has begun using emojis on her iPhone. She sends me sweet notes almost every day and finds just-the-right-icon to illustrate her texts.

Kindness. When a friend sends a text just to say, “You’re awesome!” When another friend brings over flowers just to let you know she appreciates you. When a stranger smiles, when your gym coach saves your spin bike because he knows you’re running late, or when someone leaves you a Facebook message saying they are thinking of you. When a nurse makes a pot of coffee because she knows you have a long night ahead.

Or when your friends continue to poke and prod you through an insufferable loss because they want to see you smile again. This is kindness.

As I sit here trying to remember stories of kindnesses, it strikes me that while the acts themselves can be forgotten, the feelings they leave in their wake last forever.

I can’t remember why, for example, so many warm and fuzzy feelings envelop me when I think about certain people I haven’t seen lately, but I know now that it’s because their kindnesses have made deposits in my “feel good” bank. Imagine that if every time you helped a stranger, sent a card, baked a cake, held a door, complimented an outfit, or texted a kind word… you were making a deposit in your own name to that person’s feel good account. Before long, you’d be rich with kindness karma! Every act of kindness we do has residual effects that long outlast the act itself.

So for “K” my gratitude overfloweth for kindness. Thank you to everyone who has been posting such kind words here on my blog and on my Facebook wall about my writing. I’m banking those comments, folks. You people are getting RICH!


    Comments

  • Kym Showers


    Good Morning!!! What a sweet surprise to see this so bright & early on a happy Friday!!! Yay YOU!!! OMGosh. I SO LoVE THiS for many reasons….First: you mentioned me:) how KInD. No one has ever typed my name in a blog before!!!! So FuN!!! Coffee date next week!!!! Second: YOU write truly KIND WORDS. Your WORDS are ALWAYS positive & encouraging. You spread light & love with your WORDs. YOU are making a difference in my life. Thank You for that. Third: This post reminds me how important it is to be intentionally KIND. In little & big ways everyday. I have a boatload of opportunities….I need to use them up!!!!!! You're amazing!!!! You're posts are amazing!!! LOVELOVELOVE.

  • Dawn Marie


    I just started visiting your blog and I am truly addicted to it now. Kym is correct. You really do write kind, positive and encouraging words. Thank you so much for your kind comment on my writing when you visited my blog 🙂

  • Kathy Wiechman


    Beautiful post! I like your metaphor of the bank. May yours always be full.

  • Robin


    That is a lovely idea… to be rich with kindness. Or the image of filling up someone up with kindness. I do think people function better in pictures than words. You just created a word picture that everyone can relate to… maybe we will all be a bit kinder after reading this to the people we love… and the people we have never met!

  • Jer


    Guess what, Coach? I think this is your best one yet, too. You make those little kindnesses done to you come alive, we can feel your glee. Reading about what those kindnesses mean to you is just as enjoyable ad reading about the kindnesses themselves.

    My motto is, "It's so easy to be kind." So easy to let a car pull out in front of you from a driveway when you're stopped anyway. So easy to be considerate, and the reward is out of all proportion to the effort. Just think; that person may be struggling or having a terrible day and your little kindness may be just what they need and just what turns things around for them.

    If I may brag, I've done the hand towel thing and the Starbucks thing. I also let Robin or the girls have the bigger cookie half. Why not?

  • Annis Cassells


    Being kind doesn't take a lot of effort, and with practice, it doesn't take much thought. Won't that be a dynamite world when it's filled with thoughtless kindnesses. Love this blog piece, Dana, and how you make your experiences come alive. xoA

  • Dana Martin


    A mass reply (note to self: contact someone who knows how to fix my blog so I can reply to each comment):

    Kym: YOU… YOU are an excellent writer. I am so happy and uplifted that you like what *I* am writing. I will tell you something when we meet next week for coffee. Here's a hint: You are the reason I'm writing again. 🙂

    Dawn Marie: You have made me so happy!! Thank you very much! I love that people love what I write, and I will be coming over to visit you, too. <3

    Kathy: I LOVVVVVED your post today sooo much about Kathys!! You ROCK!! So glad to have met you though this challenge.

    Robin: Your heart shows through in everything you write and every comment you make. You have a beautiful lightness in you. 🙂

    Jerry: It does not surprise me at all that you're "that guy" who would leave your bride the big towel. You are such a fine example of a man. I hope my daughters wind up with someone exactly as great as you.

    Annis: You are the biggest example of kindness that I know. You show it every day and at every chance you get. I am so happy to know you.

  • Ida Chiavaro


    Kindness is a great K word.. I learned how to accept compliments by always remembering that when you accept one graciously you are encouraging people to be more kind. I'm off to message a few facebook friends I haven't spoken to for a while – thanks for the reminder 🙂

  • Kimberly Gabriel


    Another lovely post Dana – Kindness is sometimes so underrated. Once again, you've articulated its importance with beauty and finesse. You are such a talented writer. Your posts have inspired me during this challenge. I look forward to visiting them every chance I get!! I'm so glad to have "met" you! 😉

  • Mark Means


    It's definitely something the world needs more of….that and love, sweet love. 🙂

    Left and Write

  • Craig Edwards


    Mark seems to have been channelling Dionne there – and I see nothing wrong with that! I wish there was more kindness in the world – and I cherish any that I do see, or hear or read about! I try to be kind every day as well. Terrific post DM!

  • Frances Stiles


    So beautifully stated, Dana! The world would be a better place if everyone tried to be kinder to each other. I'm going to use you as my good example and do my best.

  • Dennis


    I love the Maya Angelou quotation. It reminds me of a similar thought from Mother Teresa: “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

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Dana Martin Writing

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