Saturday, February 2, 2019

How A Neighbor Blew Me Away (And Didn't)

A few days ago a young man blew me away by not blowing me away.

I was walking my dog on the sidewalk by his house where he was using a leaf blower to move a large pile of leaves and grass to the front corner of his lawn. My dog pulled ahead of me, unaware of the machine generated wind storm closing in on her, straining toward the green patches where she could leave her mark. He looked up, saw us coming and shut off the leaf blower. He wasn't blowing the leaves directly in my direction and his yard was raised above the sidewalk, at the top of a small slope, so we weren't even that close. But he shut it off anyway.
Not by accident.
Not because he was done with his work.
But because he saw me coming and did not want to disturb me or my dog with the noise or debris. I was in shock for a moment, then I thanked him and smiled. He nodded from the middle of his lawn and smiled back. He waited until I was several houses past his yard and then I heard the machine go back on again.
I shook my head in disbelief.  Wow. That was nice. And so unexpected.
So kind.
I immediately wanted to put this story out there because I have heard from so many over the last year that they feel this world is getting dark and harsh-- and getting worse by the minute. They say it seems the light of kindness, the flicker of common courtesy--has burned out.
But just like my neighbor, we can change that one small moment at a time. Sounds so trite and way too simple, but it's true.
We can turn off the noise and notice the need in someone else. We can do small things that can have huge impacts.
Hold the door.
Let someone go first.
Pay for the coffee of the person behind you.
Send a condolence note.
Call an old friend.
Post an encouraging comment online.
Brag about someone else's achievements.
Re-post good news.
Say thank you.
Leave a big tip.
Talk nicely about someone behind their back.
Give the gift of time to a family member.
Remember the birthday of a co-worker.
Pick up someone else's trash.
Hand your gardener a cold drink.
Smile at a stranger.
Here's another great idea: (I read this in my Neighborhood Watch blog.)
"It's hot! I challenge everyone to put an ice cooler full of cold drinks on their porch each day this summer with a sign that encourages USPS, Amazon, UPS and other delivery drivers to take one. So I did. How about you?"
I immediately thought that was a great idea and have had a cooler on my porch every day since.

The recent mass shooting at the Walmart in the El Paso the other day made me cry on my couch this morning. Have we forgotten we are all children of God? I felt hopeless at the magnitude of this hate. I felt scared for the people I know and love who look exactly like the people targeted.
So I thought I would repost this blog again today, hoping it would inspire others to respond with MASS ACTS OF KINDNESS.
I am inspired by my neighbors' thoughtfulness. Both the one with the cooler full of kindness and the young man who didn't blow me away.
Thank you neighbors, for blowing me away with your kindness.
Now, can we all do the same?

-Copyright Hope A. Horner, 2019
Feel free to forward and share. For offline or printed use, contact the author on gmail at hope h 1122.
#kindnessisrevolution #inspireme #makeitcount #hopehorner #lightuptheworld #lovewins

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