Holiday Short Stories By WWK Authors Presented This Season:

11/30 KM Rockwell's "Holiday Summons"
12/06 "Death By Dictionary" by Gloria Alden
12/12 E. B. Davis's "The Christmas Tree"
12/18 "Femme Fatally Yours" by Paula Gail Benson
12/24 Kara Cerise's "The Ho-Ho Plan"
12/30 "Last Minute Shopping" by Shari Randall

Put A Shaker of Margaritas: That Mysterious Woman on your holiday list. Three WWK authors have short stories in this Mozark Press anthology. Look for "Moving On" by Paula Gail Benson, "Sauna" by KM Rockwell, and "Wishing For Ignorance" by E. B. Davis. Paper or eformat are available at Amazon.

Gloria Alden has released the fourth book, The Body in the Goldenrod, in her Catherine Jewel series. It's available in print and in eformat. Here are two links to the book: Amazon and Kobo. Put it on your "TBR" or Christmas list!

Carla Damron's latest project, THE STONE NECKLACE, a literary novel about five lives that intersect, and are forever changed, by a senseless accident, has been picked up by Story River Books for publication in 2016. Story River is an arm of the University of South Carolina Press and is under the leadership of editor-in-chief author Pat Conroy. Congratulations, Carla!


A great stocking stuffer, Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays is available at Wildside Press or Amazon. This anthology includes short stories by WWK bloggers Shari Randall ("Disco Donna") and E. B. Davis ("Compromised Circumstances").
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Friday, February 17, 2012

Small Acts of Kindness



Small Things
Our everyday actions seem to make shallow, transitory changes in the universe like the ripples in a pond after you toss in a stone. That’s how it looks to the thrower. The pond may have a different point of view. On a number of occasions, strangers have stopped me on the street to ask, “Do you remember me?” I rarely do. It’s usually someone I saw in therapy some time ago. Consistently what people remember from therapy is not some blinding insight, sudden epiphany, or intellectual discovery. What people remember is that I was kind.
When I was at my lowest emotionally and physically during recovery from a bone marrow transplant I remember a cleaning lady in the hospital who went out of her way to be comforting and reassuring. At the time I could not stand on my own, or pay attention to anything as complicated as a half hour television program. I knew time was passing because my wife wore different clothing over time; medical staff came and went. The day and date written on a white board in the room changed. The sky got lighter or darker. I came to look forward to her mopping the floor.
After I was released from the hospital, I attended a cancer center every day. One day a nursing aide who saw me shivering brought me a warmed blanket. That day I had uncontrolled diarrhea. I had soiled the clothes I wore in and several patient gowns. I would have felt thirsty and hungry if my entire digestive tract didn’t rebel at the very idea of ingesting water and food. The medical staff discussed putting me back in the hospital. I did not want to go back. I had no particular interest in continuing to live in unrelenting misery either. But I felt her kindness and it was one of the reasons I wanted to keep living.
We seldom know the consequences of small acts of kindness.

12 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

There used to be a PBS TV showed that I think was titled, Connections. A very astute historian would show how one act effected another in history. How if this or that hadn't occurred, then what happened would have resulted in a different outcome. One wonders about serendipity, if acts are random, as scientists contend, or if there is some plan that is being followed.

A lot of adages apply to your post, Warren. I won't reiterate them here, but for those who kick themselves for doing something inane or stupid, rest assured that most people won't remember that stuff. Acts done with kind intention will be remembered, even if in later retrospection.

Morgan Mandel said...

There are times when I see a complete stranger and our eyes connect and we smile at each other. Something as small as that can make a person feel better.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Linda Rodriguez said...

My grandmother always told me, "Life's too short to spend it being mean. You become what you do. Be kind." I've always tried to follow that advice.

I know I still remember clearly from my childhood the people who were kind to a scared girl from a very troubled home. I often think it's why I didn't end up in prison, drug-overdosed, or suicided, as so many others with my kind of background did. Those people who reached out with kindness, in a very true sense, saved my life--and probably never knew what a profound effect their small acts of kindness had.

And Warren, I'm so very glad we still have you with us, so I'm quite grateful to that nurse, as well. :-)

Warren Bull said...

EB,

When I meet my former clients years later, the thing they remember about me as a therapist is that I was kind.

Warren Bull said...

Morgan, I recall being in a busy airport at holiday time where everyone was hustling around looking worried. I noticed a woman for some reason and later realized that out of everyone in the crowd, she was the only one smiling.

Warren Bull said...

LInda,

Thanks. I'm glad we are both still here. Kindness to others has effects that we know about.

jenny milchman said...

I'm so glad you had such people to remember with warmth to this day, Warren. And I'm very glad you're here and recovered--perhaps in some measure due to their kindness. May we all offer the same.

Warren Bull said...

Jenny,

Thank you. Kindness is contagious.

Gloria Alden said...

Beautiful posting, Warren, and so true. Sometimes people apologize for something they'd said or done in the past, and I truly don't remember that, but I do remember those little acts of kindness I've received, but usually not the ones others remember I'd done.

I'll never forget my son's very special doctor, an oncologist, who went out of his way to connect with John and me. He even gave us his home number and told us if we had any concerns, we could always reach him during his dinner hour at 7:00.

Marni said...

Warren, so glad you are still around~and thanks for reminding us that small gestures often carry giant rewards.

Warren Bull said...

Gloria,

Kindness is more memorable than anything else. I too have been fortunate to have some wonderful medical staff when I needed them most.

Warren Bull said...

Marni, Thank you,