Lessons from a Hertz shuttle
Sometimes it feels too heavy to write. It was yet another exhausting week in the news and the daily motions of work-workout-travel-eat-sleep have left me feeling a little worn out. Writing about chasing big dreams and achieving your goals felt inauthentic, at best.
I’m sure it’s no accident that my morning reading today said, “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” (Prov 12:25) and “Philemon refreshed the hearts of God’s people by his kindness.” (Ph 1:7).
Simply put, the daily grind, overlaid with the sadness of current events and endless polarizing politics results leave us with too much worry and not nearly enough kindness.
It would not have immediately occurred to me to look at kindness as a way to lift malaise. That’s probably why it felt so convicting to read this question along with the verses above - Do others feel built up and refreshed by your kindness?
I don’t know about you, but I think kindness is one of the most refreshing traits we’ll encounter in others. Maybe I have an unhealthy expectation of harshness from strangers, but it truly makes my day better when I encounter someone who is truly kind.
Can you imagine how much better your daily life would be if you were consistently kinder to others and others to you?
Kindness sets a small spark of hope in us that I think few other interactions can. It makes us remember that there is goodness in the world. It says to us, someone sees me.
One of the most impactful forms of kindness is encouragement. I’m not talking about empty words or “you’ve got this!” cheers. I’m talking about sincere words of good wishes or validation that can stick with the other person for far longer than you realize.
The other night, I was in a rental car shuttle when an older gentleman struck up a conversation with me. We chatted for the entire ride about why were were in town and what we do for work. When we were exiting, he offered his best wishes and prayers for my relocation and home search. He doesn’t know me and the conversation was short, but he invested a few minutes in me. The way he offered those sincere words as we left cast a small light into a scary, unknown place in my head and heart that he didn’t even know existed.
Gosh, I want to do that for others.
I want to look for ways to lift the weight from those around me - from both my closest companions and complete strangers.
It can really be that simple - strike up a conversation and truly listen. I think you’ll know where to offer encouragement if you pay attention.
I used to pray every day to be “humble, hungry, and kind” at work and in my life. Let’s all focus on the “kind” part this week. Maybe it will spark enough fire to bring back the hunger, too.