This represents the final installment of "paying it forward", a list of acts of kindness my true love requested of me as her gift for Christmas. Although I say its "final", at least in the meaning of her gift, after experiencing the joy of this endeavor, it is something I will strive to continue in the future. She told me one of her life goals is to do at least ONE act of kindness every day. I believe that is a worthy cause and one we should all at least try to do every day. The world we live in can be so full of cynicism, fear, anger, and confusion, that bringing a small piece of joy to our fellow man each day is certainly worth our time! Before I begin with this final chapter, I would like to say to each one of you during this Christmas season to not allow yourselves to lose that "spirit" of giving every day for the rest of your lives. Whatever acts you may choose, whether they involve monetary gifts or simply the gift of your time, I can assure you from personal experience, the emotional and spiritual lift you receive in return far exceeds whatever it may cost you. It is truly the Holy Spirit moving within and around you! So, here we go, the "12 Acts of Kindness" to give to my true love, that turned into 17!
15.) After paying for the woman behind us at Taco Bell's drive-up, handed $2 to the cashier and said, "Merry Christmas!" The smile and look on her face? Priceless.
16.) Delivered a gift to my Aunt Rosamond Sleigh when she wasn't home, a bag of doggie treats for her beloved dog Emma, along with a note that simply read, "Merry Christmas Emma! Santa."
17.) When the cashier at the extremely busy Trader Joe's was about to ring up my groceries, I looked at her name tag and said, "Hi Dianne, how are you?" This is the sort of thing I've been doing for over 2 years now and the reaction I got this time was totally different. She gave me this surprised look and said, "You caught me off-guard, that was so PERSONABLE." I said, "Yes it is but it's more than that. It's RESPECTFUL."
That last gift, the one that didn't involve any money at all was perhaps the greatest of all. Being "personable" and "respectful" is something that's missing in our world these days. This lady experienced something unusual, something she normally doesn't experience with waiting on probably dozens of customers every day. Perhaps by being kind and merely saying her name made her feel special. The point is, she IS special and so are YOU! Keep kindness alive my friends, do something nice for someone every day of your life, and it doesn't have to involve money. Opening a door, calling out someone's name, letting the guy in front of you in busy traffic "cut in", help the elderly or disabled with their grocery cart, it can by anything! Use your imagination. The possibilities are endless and REMEMBER, opening a door for someone else opens doors for yourself! The benefits you receive in return for your kindness will astound you! Merry Christmas!