Kindness is important. But unlike other important things, it really isn't that hard to do. If you pay attention to those around you, you can figure out what they need. Often, the things they need aren't all that difficult to provide - a little of your time, a listening ear, a compliment, a joke. These are things we can give without much effort or investment.
In spite of the ease with which they are given, these little things so a really long way. Think back to the moments and people in your life that touched you. It was cold and the kids were cranky, but the guys at the Dunkin Donuts had my order ready as I walked in the door. Riddled with self-doubt about a decision and my brother said, "you should go for it." Bored on a Saturday night, and my son asked me to play the Wii with him. While buying produce on a busy day, the shop keeper gave me a few apples for free.
These acts of kindness took almost no effort on the part of the other person. In fact, when I received the free apples, I commented "my cup runneth over." The Amish fellow selling me the apples said, "you need a bigger cup."
Maybe a bigger cup is a thing we all need, but maybe we just need to do a better job at filling the cups of others. How difficult is it to smile, make coffee, encourage and share? Not very. And yet, these simple acts have a profound impact - not just for the person on the receiving end, but for the givers as well.
Blogging this month has been rewarding. Reflecting on gratitude, I have become more aware of the many people, opportunities and ideas that enrich my life on an hourly basis. It would seem inappropriate, in a way, to have spent so much time remembering the things for which I am grateful without working to give something back. And so, I will work on filling the cups of others in small ways, while I continue to acknowledge the countless ways in which my own cup is filled.