I interviewed Jason Mraz for "The Kindness Podcast" last week about his new album coming out in June, "Look for the Good."
When I asked him to share one story of kindness that really affected him, he went back decades, to the beginning of his career. He told me about being a starving musician and about the woman who let him borrow her car.
Jason said he hadn’t thought about that act of kindness in a while, and I could tell he was touched all over again by the generosity of this friend.
Kindness is like that. It happens, it brightens our day, and we move on.
But something so good doesn’t just happen and then disappear. It sticks to us throughout the years — whether we were the giver or the receiver.
A woman named Deb shared this story from quite a while ago that still makes her smile.
"A co-worker and I met for lunch at Granite City in Sioux Falls, S.D., during our workday. Our server was a young gal who was doing a great job but looked a little stressed. Throughout our meal, we chatted with her and she shared that she was a single mom of twin girls who had just turned 2. She was so proud that one of the girls had recently accomplished successful potty training in record time!
"However, her twin sister really had no desire to do the same and was completely satisfied wearing diapers. Even the cute 'little girl' panties that her twin sister was sporting didn’t faze her diapered twin!
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"At the time, I was a mom of three teenage boys and shared how each one was so different in many ways, including potty training. My friend and I settled our bill, tipped her generously, and went back to finish our workday.
"All afternoon, something just kept tugging at my mind that I should help out our sweet server, but how? The restaurant where she worked was only about a block from Sam’s Club. I wasn’t feeling extra 'rich' myself, but this day was a Friday and also a payday. That being said, I just had this strong feeling that I should help out our struggling sweet server that day.
"I went to Sam’s Club, took a guess on what size the 2-year-old twin might be wearing, then taped the receipt to the box. I also wrote a quick note saying something simple like, 'I hope this helps! Hang in there, sweet mama!' Then I drove back to Granite City and left the diapers at the host stand for my server.
"The feeling I had as I left the restaurant was just so warm and peaceful. As I write this, I am realizing those twin girls are probably graduating from high school about now! I hope they and their Mom are doing well! Kindness feels so good!"
As we look for the good in our world, let’s remember to dust off the good that is tucked deep in our memories. Kindness never loses its power.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at email@example.com.
Nicole J. Phillips, a former Fargo television anchor, is a speaker, author and host of The Kindness Podcast. She lives in Aberdeen, S.D., with her three children and her husband, Saul Phillips, the head men's basketball coach at Northern State University. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.