Acts of kindness

Seems I’m a bit of a wuss.

Only a few days ago I boldly declared that I wasn’t going to accept any more fill-in opportunities for my part-time gig. That lasted two days. Since I wrote that, and was convinced of it, I’ve accepted three fill-in shifts.

Shall I say again, I am not accepting any more opportunities to fill-in for others, certainly not in March.

Last night a colleague asked me to cover for her for a couple of shifts. I agreed because she’s kind, she’s hard-working, and recently she’s been extra good to my family through another act of goodness. When I agreed, she offered me her complimentary tickets to see an upcoming performance at The National Ballet of Canada. I was overwhelmed.

First I said “no, that’s okay.” She presumed I wouldn’t like to sit through a full-length ballet – it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Truth is, I would love it! The offer was just so generous I didn’t know what to do with it! I’ve taken the girls to the ballet before, trust me, it isn’t cheap. It’s about the same as a month’s worth of groceries. That’s why we only go every few years, if at all. When I assured her I loved the ballet, and assured myself that she wouldn’t get into any trouble for the offer, I gladly accepted.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been the recipient of more than one act of kindness. My step-mother also sent me an unexpected gift of $125 for helping her find, screen and secure a tenant for an apartment she has for rent. My step-mother isn’t internet savvy, and isn’t as well versed in the Landlord Tenant Act as I am. I was happy to help her out.

Honestly though, I was also happy to see the kindness returned. It doesn’t have to be money or ballet tickets, but it sure is nice to hear that others have appreciated that you did a little something for them. Recently I exchanged some emails with a friend I haven’t corresponded with for a number of years. Even just the “thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful note” makes is an act of kindness.

I work a second job because I need the extra income to balance the books here at home. I also work that second job because I enjoy the work, and I almost always get instant feedback from the members we serve. Of course I love my full-time gig too.

The revenue will help me accomplish my financial goals of being consumer debt free, and live a financially sustainable life. However, the people that I get to interact on a day-to-day basis make me richer as a person, just by sharing bits of themselves with me and allowing me to do the same. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Aren’t we lucky? I sure am.


4 responses to this post.

  1. I do some friend’s taxes every year and they always get me a Chapters gift card. I wish they wouldn’t, but I do appreciate it. I’m learning to be more accepting of the generosity of others – because I know it feels good to give myself. Funny how that is.


    • With my step-mom, I feel I now have to prefeace anything she needs with “you don’t have to send me anything, I do this because I love you.” You don’t want them to have to feel they have to repeat the performance, but you want to be sincerely thankful for the generosity they’ve shown.

      We humans are complicated, aren’t we?


  2. Why are we so attuned to GIVING but find it so difficult to receive? Michael and I were just talking about this the other day. We were in Chapters and there was a young man doing a little presentation and autographing a book he had written. Michael went and had a chat with him and it blossomed into a wonderful conversation. In the end the writer surprised Michael by giving him a book for FREE. Afterwards we were talking and Michael felt he needed to return the thoughtfulness by going online and paying for the book. I said NO, because then you are negating his GIFT to you. We need to remember the joy WE feel when we give to others and allow others to feel this joy themselves when they give something to us. I read somewhere that sometimes the best gift you can give another person is allowing them to give YOU a gift.


    • You’re right Jane. It’s like a muscle we need to work more of the time in order to strengthen it.

      I’ve seen the disappointment in other people’s faces when I’m not accepting of their gift. It would have been easier, in retrospect, to say “thank you very much”. I’m still not going to say yes to a fella in a bar who wants to buy me a drink. I have yet to experience the feeling of receiving that “gift” without the expectation of something in return, usually something I don’t want to part with.

      Michael is a keeper!


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