Welcome Wednesday guests for September:
9/03 Beach-Read novelist, Mary Hogan (Two Sisters);
9/10 Fast-track Guppy Annette Dashofy (Lost Legacy);
9/17 Florida Coast author, Terrie Farley Moran (Well Read, Then Dead);
9/24 Cozy Confection author, Kathy Aarons (Death Is Like A Box Of Chocolates).


Gloria Alden's latest publication is nonfiction. Boys Will Be Boys: The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys. Edited by Cher'ley Grogg was recently released and available on Amazon. Gloria wrote three essays and two poems in her chapter included in the book.


Don't miss next month's release of Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays on October 7th, in which WWK bloggers Shari Randall ("Disco Donna") and E. B. Davis ("Compromised Circumstances") have short stories.


KM Rockwood's short stories will appear in two anthologies released in October. They are: "The Lure of the Owl" in Swamp Mansion and Other Dark Stories, to be released as a ebook, and "Aunt Olga and the Werewolf" will be included in the third Creatures, Crimes and Creativity anthology release by Intrigue Publishing. at their conference in October.

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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,