Have you done something kind or good for anyone lately? You know a random act of kindness. It’s something I have learned to do with great joy and enthusiasm. I grew up in a wonderful family. I was taught the JOY principle at an early age – Jesus, Others, then You. Seems easy enough right? Unfortunately my “Y” often came before the “J” and the “O” – and still does at times. However, something happened that gave me new perspective. Here is my story.
August 30, 1989. A great day. A terrifying day. A day that changed me, but not in the way you may think. On this day, our son Ben was born. It was a great day. But in all the joy Becky experienced complications and had to be rushed off for emergency surgery. Everything was happening so fast. I didn’t want to call our parents until I knew more but I needed someone who could help me process everything. That person was my friend Daryl. I called him and without hesitation he came to the hospital. We talked about what happened, what I think was happening and he was the first one to see Ben. To this day, I am grateful for my continued friendship with Daryl.
The second call I made was to my boss’ assistant, Cindy. Cindy and her husband Matt (Matt may show up in another post) were also good friends of ours. I had a two-fold purpose in calling Cindy. First, I knew she would want to know our news of Ben’s arrival. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the call she was expecting. Second, I wanted her to let Dave (my boss) know that I may not be in the rest of the week or for that matter, I really didn’t know when I would return.
While Daryl and I were waiting in the surgical waiting area, something caught my eye and I noticed Dave walking towards us. Here is someone who dropped everything he had going on to come see ME. I honestly can’t remember how long he stayed. I can’t remember what we talked about. All I know is that he cared and came to see me. I will never forget this act of kindness. Dave demonstrated to me that people do matter – that I mattered.
Over the last 20+ years, I have done my best to pass along the kindness Dave and Daryl showed me in that hospital. It is something I have had to work on since it really doesn’t come naturally to me. But I have found myself supporting others in various ways. I have found myself in hospitals supporting friends in need similar to how Dave just “showed up.” But thankfully, I don’t have that opportunity often. What I really try to do is be observant and act in the moment. Most of the times I like to do fun things for people who aren’t expecting it.
My swim group is also turning into a bike group. Unfortunately, many in the group are directionally challenged. I researched the problem and came up with a solution. Map Clips for our bikes. They actually make them so I bought everyone one. We can now clip our routes on our bike for easy viewing in hopes no one gets lost! The group loved them.
Now fast forward to earlier this week. A friend of mine, Matt (the 200lb Man) posted on Facebook that he was craving a deep dish pizza. I immediately knew I was going to get Matt his pizza. I set my plan into action with the assistance of his wife Betsy (One Million Reasons). I travel to Chicago often and we all know they have the best deep dish pizza. So I had one of my favorite pizza joints send him a pizza via FedEx. HE LOVED IT. From Matt’s blog, "I didn't even know they sent pizza by mail. My entire outlook on life has changed completely."
Five years ago I had breakfast with Dave. We were working at different companies but were at the same convention. We spent time just catching up. As we were walking back to the convention floor, I thanked Dave for the investment in me and for the kindness he showed me the day Ben was born. His response, “Wow, I totally forgot about all that.” I was somewhat stunned by his response but then it dawned on me. He is the same kind of guy who would send Matt a pizza.