gifts in kind are kind words spoken

Being the thrifty type, I spent a long time agonizing over the frilly lovely skirt before I bought it. I walked by the Lucky Monkey on Sherman to my morning coffee for three days, looking at it, analyzing it, considering what I would wear it with and where I would wear it, before I even stopped to pick it up from the sidewalk rack and feel its texture. It was a beautiful sari wrap, made from silky layers of recycled sari’s and rather popular this summer. It was $20.

After mustering up the courage to try it on, and after some kind words from hubby, I bought it, took it back to our vacation house, and planned when to wear it. A night later, my step-daughter and I went out to pick out some matching jewelry.

I turned 40 this year. Frilly skirts and fancy necklaces are becoming less of a priority than school fees and leaky toilets. I’m not really a high maintenance woman, and tend to buy what I need, rather than what I want. A fair amount of my wardrobe is from Goodwill and Value Village. So purchasing a silk skirt with ruffles was out of the ordinary for me.

And I was feeling it when I got home later. I started dodging guilt for my purchase, thinking I should have hit a children’s clothing outlet instead and bought a couple of t-shirts for my son. But the kids loved it, told us to go out for the evening, and I got dressed. While waiting out on the front lawn for my husband, two young girls rode by on their bikes. And one of them tipped the scale for me in the kindest of ways.

“Oh, your skirt is pretty. I like it,” she exclaimed as she rode by. “Thank-you!” I answered to her disappearing down the street, and I couldn’t help but smile from my heart.

The dear girl gave a complete stranger a compliment. It happens so rarely, and is increasingly cherished when it is timely and honest. I almost giggled it made me feel so good.

I remembered back to when I was a teen, and our family was travelling through some British Columbia back road, looking for our campground. Having failed at finding our destination multiple times around a maze of roads, the tension had been growing as was the temperature. We stopped in town next to the local museum, and I was sent inside to ask directions. I have no recollection of what the young girl at the counter said to me, but I remember her smile and kind voice. It seemed to melt all the tension of the last hour away. She told me where we needed to travel, then wished me a great afternoon … but first, sign the guestbook.

Being the young, impulsive girl I was, I signed the guestbook, “Thank you for being so nice. You will never know how much that meant.” Then I hopped out the door with renewed energy.

We have no idea how our kind words can positively affect those around us. We have so many opportunities each day to share goodness with others. Why don’t we participate in rapport and friendliness more freely? We have grown suspicious, reserved and ultimately, lonely. A few kind words to a stranger is like an amicability lottery ticket. It’s so simple to do, so easy, and you never know when you’ve given them a jackpot day.

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