noun: kindness

the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate

     After reading the definition of kindness, I'd like to explain what kindness can do in a community.  Just last week I ventured out into my local community in Redding, CA to spread some kindness. I recognized various local business owners, that were nominated by local residents, for a Kindness Certificate through a Facebook promotion. This certificate was presented by me, a local business owner and a friend in my community who also happens to be one of the kindest people I know. I really looked forward to this opportunity because I feel kindness is important in business and a community.  The response I got was even better than expected and gave me a truer understanding of kindness and how it works.

     I went into this opportunity with the expectation that I would meet a lot of kind people, but the appreciation that I received was even better!  One of the local businesses I visited are well known in the community for their kindness. They actually build their business around hiring kind people. Their reaction was EPIC! By the time we left, they were completely reinvigorated and happy to know that someone noticed. They were recharged to continue spreading their joy! The reason it was so important to me is I realized this, kindness is not something you are born with it is a choice. A choice that we can make each morning when we get out of bed, a choice we can make when someone is rude to us, or after we stub our toes (you know the feeling I'm talking about, we think our leg is gonna fall off and the world is gonna end kind of stub). This particular business, is built on kindness, and has bottled this ability. The ability, to get its employees to choose, that's right, to choose to be kind.  These employees may have been born with more kindness than me and you, but this business has been able to get them to intentionally make that choice. I'd be willing to bet my paycheck that this business owner has the same mentality as his employees. That tells me that kindness, appreciates kindness, and breeds kindness. Just think what could happen if we all chose to be kind!

     We went on to visit a doctor that was happy to step away from a busy day, invite us into his office, and accept his Kindness Certificate. Ask a drug rep how hard it is to get a minute of a doctors day. A restaurant that was reluctant to show us their manager because of the unknown that happily accepted their award, and gave us a minute of their day to say thank you.  Our last stop was around lunch where we were treated to the best Gyro I have had, in ever, by a thankful restaurateur! Just for thanking them for being kind to their patrons, a free meal! Who would have thought?

In the end if we can all make that choice it will spread rampant like a wildfire and before you know it Redding, CA will be the second sunniest city in America and the first in Kindness. Instead of being stuck on how bad our day is or how rude the server at your last restaurant was, we can spread kindness and make their day for the next customer they help.  Or we can go the other way, and send a smug look to someone who got in our way because they were in a hurry instead of opening the door they headed towards.  In the end the CHOICE is yours.

"How Beautiful a day can be when Kindness touches it"-George Elliston


-Kyle R Vowell