Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pass it on...

It was my last shift at work for the time being, and I had to cashier. I wasn't quite looking forward to it. Being one of the only cashiers, I was grateful time would fly by and that I would be free soon. It was just one of those days where different unpleasant things, and just life in general, was weighing me down. I would have prefered to just be far far away from everything. 
Toward the end of my shift, after hours of checking guests out, almost in a robotic state of mind, I was awoken by the sound of my name being addressed by the only genuinely kind face I had encountered that night. 
Before I could even utter the usual, "Hello, how are you tonight?" she had already called me by name asking how I was.
"Hello Emily, how are you?" 
Taken by surprise that she actually read and addressed me by the my name on my name tag, I looked at her sweet face, beaming back, and answered,
"Hi, I'm doing pretty well!..This is actually my last shift before school."
"Really?? Well, I am honored to meet you!"
"Haha! It's great to meet you too."
"Where are you going to school?"
"I commute to Madonna."

"Oh how wonderful! What are you studying?"

"Really? Wow, what do you want to do with that?"
"There is a lot I would like to do with it. I love everything about it. I would like to do anything with writing, publishing, speaking, filming, everything!"

"Oh my goodness, that is so amazing!" 
"Awe, thank you. I am really excited!"
As our conversation progressed, she continued to pour out love in each word she spoke to me. Tenderly giving encouragement, praise, and making me feel valued. 
Her joy, love, and kindness toward me, for just 5 minutes gave me something I didn't realize I needed so badly at the time. Her words and conduct toward me, gave my heart a breath of fresh air. Her kindness gave life.
As she was leaving, she wished me all the best and lovingly expressed how proud she was of me for everything I was doing and pursuing. 
I'm pretty sure the smile she got out of me never left my face the rest of the night. 
The kindness and love she radiated out onto me, made it almost impossible for my heart not to cast out the same kindness toward others in return. The woman reminded me of one of my favorite quotes and life motto, 

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
 -Mother Teresa

Through my special interaction with this woman, I witnessed a powerful example of what expressing God's kindness in one's face, eyes, smile, and most of all, words, looks like. I was reminded just how important it is to live this way. Love breathes life into the soul, and being kind to others does just that.  That's just what she did for me. She left leaving me better and happier. She was a stranger whom I will most likely never meet again, however her joyful spirit and kindness toward me caught me. She caught my soul and inspired me to try harder to be kind to others in my actions and words in everything I do. Whether it is with my own family or strangers who cross my path during everyday life. 

"Joy is a net of love by which we catch souls." 
- Mother Teresa

The next night, after a fun swing dancing event, my brother and I drove over with some friends to a cute little donut shop that had 90 cent deep-fried deliciousness. We walked in at midnight, trying to decide on what donuts to devour. I went last and asked the young man for 1 glazed donut, he casually grabbed 2 glazed donuts and put them in my bag. 
Worried that I would be charged more than I was willing to pay, I said, 
"Ummm.. That's two..." 
He looked right at me and simply stated, "I know." and handed them to me. 
Surprised, I thanked him and left with a huge smile. 
That was the first time anyone had ever given me more than I payed for. 
Again, even though it was a simple and small act, I was touched by another stranger's kindness.
Sitting at the table with our donuts I told these stories to my friend, who was just as inspired as I. As my friend got up to go buy another donut for her father, I was looking at my bag that held the extra donut, and realized I should pass on the random act of kindness. I stopped her, gave her the donut and told her to pass it on as well. 

"No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves." 
- Amelia Earhart

St. John of the Cross said, "At the end of our life, we shall all be judged by charity." It couldn't be more true. We are all called to love others, no matter who they are, in everything we do. It is so easy to forget, to be weak, to be selfish, to be caught up in ourselves, to be cold and not kind... Yet, if we do anything without love, it is worthless. 

Pass on the kindness...

Con amore in Cristo,


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