Tuesday, July 23, 2024

9 Reader Comments on Kindness

lady bird movie prom

lady bird movie prom

With all the exhaustion that comes with being in my third trimester and running after our two-year-old, compounded by the heavy headlines in the news, life has been feeling overwhelming. So, I’ve been ending my days with small pleasures: chewy cookies, tender essays, and wonderful reader comments. Here are nine that made my heart swell…

On the sweetness of children:

“I’m a second-grade teacher, and each student in my class has a day of the week designated as their sharing day. One day, it was the turn of a student who’s quite reserved. I reminded her that she could say anything; we just wanted to hear what’s going on in her life. She happened to be eating a snack and asked, hesitantly, ‘Could I tell you about my snack?’ I said that would be perfect, so she proceeded to tell the class about her apple. As soon as she finished, almost every hand in the class went up. These gorgeous children spent the next five minutes asking questions about her snack with as much interest as if she’d just returned from Mars. What kind of apple is it? Is it always a green apple? Do you ever put on almond butter? Do you have a recipe for that? (A recipe?!?) Watching this group of eight-year-olds rally around their peer to show her that what she had to say mattered was one of the greatest acts of kindness I’ve seen in a long time.” — SF

On small gestures:

“I’m seeing someone new, and we recently had our first sleepover. It was a bit last minute, but in the time it took me to make my way over to his place, he’d set up a night table for me with a fresh glass of water, a set of earplugs, and a phone charger (!). They are just little things, but it felt so thoughtful. Each time I glanced at my phone the following day, still almost fully charged, I felt cared for.” — Em

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“I just moved to Paris, where I’ve been grappling with learning a new language among strangers who, when they see me struggle for words, often roll their eyes and change to English. The other day, I was at IKEA and the cashier saw me struggle. When he switched to English, I told him, ‘Désolé, j’apprends le Français’ (Sorry, I’m learning French), to which he smiled and said – in perfect French – ‘Then I will speak more slowly, so you can understand.’ I could have cried. It was so simple and gracious and led to my first full conversation in French!” — Jessica

On passing it on:

“After our wedding reception, my new husband and I arrived at our inn at 2:30 a.m. We were ravenous after barely eating the whole night. Entering our room, we were surprised to find a tray holding two club sandwiches and a bottle of Champagne. My sweet father-in-law had ordered it for us, and I’ve never been so grateful to see a plate of food, even 40+ years later. Now we do the same for other newlyweds, which warms our hearts.” — Joan

“Eight-year-old small-town me went to the big city of Toronto on a class trip and excitedly attempted to buy $3 worth of candy at a downtown shop. But I hadn’t counted my change correctly and didn’t have enough to cover the amount. I remember panicking until the woman behind me reached over and paid for my candy. It felt like the most generous gesture of my life. Fast forward to this past summer: I’m now an adult Torontonian stopped at a small gas station. Two eight-year-old boys are in front of me with Drumstick ice cream bars at the till. They don’t have quite enough money, and I overhear one whisper to the other, ‘I thought you had $5!!!’ So, I buy their ice cream. It felt great to pay it forward.” — Stevie

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On family love:

“My seven-year-old was assigned to draw a map of her heart in school and drew her little sister and me right in the middle. Her caption said, ‘My mom and my sister are my everything!’ As a sometimes lonely and stressed single mom, nothing could have made me happier.” — Jess

“At a parent-teacher conference, I expressed that my main concern for my son was his feeling left out or bullied because he’s so small. The teacher’s aide gently said, ‘You should know that he’s never alone on the playground. He is very intentional about going up to kids who are standing on the side and asking them to play. By the end of recess, he’s running around with half the class. He’s got a huge, kind heart that he shares with everyone, and you should be very proud.’” — V.

On seeing people how they want to be seen:

“While going through chemo, I went to a the mall with a friend and received lots of sideways glances. When you’re swollen from meds, bald, and not feeling well, you feel on display and have nowhere to hide. Finally, in one of the stores, a woman came up to me, took my hands in hers, and said, ‘It won’t always be like this, and your hair will grow back, just like mine did.’ It was the first time since starting chemo that someone invited a glimpse at a future me that might feel normal again. I felt seen.” — Shivani

“While returning my rental car to the airport after visiting my mom in the hospital, I got a call saying she had just passed away. I was stunned. The gentleman who worked there approached the car to check it in, but I told him, ‘My mom just died and I need to stay in L.A. longer.’ He then asked if he could pray for me. He took my hands and prayed that I would have the strength and healing to get through that time. As tears poured down my face, he patted my hands the way my mom used to when I was a child. A few days later, when my brother and I returned the car, he must have put a note on our reservation, because the attendants drove us to the terminal so we didn’t have to take the shuttle. That was 10 years ago, and I still cry when I think of him.” — Rosanne

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How has someone shown you kindness?

P.S. More amazing reader comments, and what’s the sweetest thing anyone’s ever said to you?

(Photo from Lady Bird.)

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