Today, I was reflecting on how kindness matters.
As a veteran teacher in my school, I have participated year after year in our “birthday” celebrations. All this involves is for different staff members to bring in treats to celebrate the birthdays, or half birthdays, of other co-workers. Goodies appear twice a month, like clockwork, strategically on Mondays. Happily, through the years, I have done my part, bringing treats–some yummy and gooey, some crunchy and healthy–on my designated days. This year something surprised me.
The week before my birthday, our sweet, newly-hired music teacher, stepped quietly into my office with a little pad of paper and a pencil in her hands. “What are your favorite treats?” she asked shyly.
“Anything is fine,” I replied.
“Don’t you have any favorite treats?” she persisted.
“Well, I try to eat healthy…hmmm. So maybe some fruit or vegetables or nuts? But really, anything is OK. Cheese and crackers?”
“Any favorite sweets?”
“Brownies are my favorite. Or M&Ms.”
She smiled and turned and headed down the hall, back to her room.
The next Monday, there in the teacher’s lounge was an array of everything I suggested! Strawberries and peppers, red and green and orange, cheese and crackers, mixed nuts. Even brownies and M&Ms! Even now I get a little teary-eyed thinking about it. No one has ever bothered to ask me what I like. Of course, I never expected it and have appreciated everything I have received, but this was a special act of kindness that touched my heart.
Stepping into her room later that day, I said, “Sarah, thank you so much for the yummy treats. It was so kind and nice of you to bring all my favorite things. It was so nice of you to ask. Thank you so much!” I gave her a hug. My eyes glistened. She probably thought I was some kind of nut! But I didn’t care. What she did mattered. It mattered to me. I wanted her to know: Kindness matters!