Impact Each Other with Kindness

The line reached the door. My stomach grumbled as I slowly made my way up to order lunch. I was at one of my favorite fast-casual dining places. Employees in the kitchen were in a frenzy, rushing to grill meat, make guacamole, and chop onions and peppers. The workers moved quickly and systematically, trying their best to get the orders right. I finally reached the front.

“How can I help you?”

“I’ll have a burrito please. Brown rice, black beans, chicken.” I moved down the line, where another worker scooped guacamole, plopped on salsa, and sprinkled on cheese and lettuce. He expertly wrapped the over-stuffed burrito, taking care so it wouldn’t burst open.

The cashier asked if I’d like anything else. “Chips and a drink.” I made some small talk and asked how her day was going.

“Fine, thanks.” She smiled.

I smiled back.

What she said next took me by complete surprise. “I love when you come through the line. You calm me down. You really do, you make me feel calm.”

Really? I was touched, and it felt great that in that brief moment, I helped her to feel more relaxed. I wasn’t sure if it was what I said, how I said it, or my general demeanor.

When I saw my husband, who had been waiting at a table, I mentioned the cashier’s comment. I told him I couldn’t believe it. “You have that effect on people,” he said. Like with our girls, when they’re upset, you help them feel better by talking in a soft voice, and telling them to take it one problem at a time.”

I’d never thought about it like that before, it’s just how I usually react. Especially if I know the other person is agitated. I figure if I’m calmer, they will be too. Of course I don’t always do this. Or I might appear calm on the outside, but on the inside, I’m anxious, nervous, or angry.

This experience made me reflect on The Kindness Challenge, hosted by Niki of The Richness of a Simple Life. I’m on Week Four, in which the focus is to be kind. Niki suggests activities to incorporate into daily life. These are the ones I focused on:

  • Make eye contact and greet people around you
  • Hold the door for the person entering behind you
  • Compliment 5 people
  • Say “please” and “thank you” often
  • Address a stranger by their name (server, barista, cashier, janitor, etc.)
  • Be a listening ear for someone, listening in earnest and not just to reply

I’ve found that these small gestures not only make the other person feel good, it makes me feel good too. A smile, a comment or compliment, can open up a conversation we never would’ve had.

I’m glad I made a positive impact on the cashier at the restaurant. She may not realize it, but in return, she made my day happier.

First image courtesy of here

Second image courtesy of here

 

 

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55 thoughts on “Impact Each Other with Kindness

    • Thanks, I’m glad she said something too. That’s one reason I often compliment people.. if someone is wearing a pretty shirt, or their hair looks nice, etc., I like to tell them that. Because I think of how many people think it, but don’t say it. And it’s nice for the person to know 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a gift you have, to be such a calming influence, and what a gift you were given, to be made aware of it!
    I think most of time when we worry what others think of us, it’s coming from our egotism. Instead, we should look at it from their side – how is our attitude or behavior affecting them?
    Wow – you’ve given me a lot to think about! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi C.J.! Yes, I’m really glad she told me, because honestly, I had no idea I made that impact on her. My mouth probably dropped open when she said it, because that never went through my mind. And you’re so right… Our actions and attitude definitely affects others. But a lot of the time, I’m not focused on that, or thinking of it. And maybe it’s good to be more aware. Thanks for your nice comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jenny, I love this story! There are so many reasons why I love it. I think the biggest reason is your surprise and humility at receiving such a compliment. It’s an incredible testament to your character. It’s also another example of the big impact even the smallest and most insignificant gestures can have in the lives of other people (for positive or negative). I love how you sent ripples of kindness to the cashier, and she was able to send ripples of kindness back to you by sharing how she felt, and the ripples are continuing to spread with everyone who reads this post. Thank you for the little reminder to be kind and also the little reminder that I do make a difference, even if I don’t recognize it. Like you sometimes feel, I am often anxious, distressed, or even angry and frustrated on the inside. Even in my brokenness, I can spread light for others just by taking a deep breath and sharing a smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lulu, what you wrote is really beautiful! I always appreciate your insight, and often I look at things deeper or think of them in a different way, because of what you write. I love how you relate it to ripples of kindness. So true. And, yes, even when we feel broken, we can still spread light and happiness to others. Just like you did just now for me 🙂 Thank you again, Lulu!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely 🙂 Adding kindness is definitely something I aim for when I go out, and today was a success. Amazingly, I DID receive kindness today, and I also witnessed it happening to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s amazing Jenny! I can’t imagine how wonderful that must have felt! Here you were being yourself and you walk away with such lovely feedback and a great feeling! I love the way kindness brightens the day of everyone it touches! Thank you so much for participating in the challenge and sharing this story ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. it is true we all need that small reward whether we like to admit it or not, we are hard wired in that regard. And energy and the ripples they create are positive other rewards maybe like a domino effect but certainly they have a way of keeping us buoyant. Thank you for following me, as you see we all have journeys to make, some are harder than for others but generally people around our day to day can certainly help with that, and hopefully never drain all your new found sense off wellbeing accrued each time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It always feels good to hear such kind words from another, especially when she was probably really stressed out because they were really busy and not everyone is as kind as you are. Keep being you. You seem to have and effect on people with your words, including myself. Thank you.
    I, also, know exactly, the place you were at! One of my favorites. I can’t really eat that anymore, but I do try small amounts sometimes because, well, it’s one of my favorite places. Burrito: chicken, pinto beans, rice, cheese, and hot sauce. I can’t have lettuce or things with seeds. Sometimes, I get the burrito bowl!! Love that place.
    Keep doing what you do. You sound like an amazing soul. Take care.
    Peace out! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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