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The Power of Kind Words

on June 2, 2012

It was a stressful morning. I was rushing here and there – picking up the baby by his waist and trying to grab a million other bags and sippy cups and toys. I finally had balanced everything in my arms when I realised  I left my keys on the floor. Do you realise how awful it is to bend at the knees in order to fish for keys while holding onto an extra 10 kilos of baby-and-mummy-goods?!! It’s exhausting! I finally made it into the car and rushed to Woolies to get milk.

I parked in a teeny-tiny parking space. I rushed to get my son out of the car and accidentally bumped his head on the roof. I picked up and dropped my purse three times before I growled and grabbed it with such gusto that anyone seeing me must have thought I was out of my mind. I hobbled into the shop trying to dodge the rain and hoping I didn’t have any food in my hair.

I struggled with trying to carry nappies and milk at the same time, all while trying to keep my son upright – he was bending over to try and look at all the beautiful lollies, and trying to grab at anything I passed. I was a bit frazzled. I arrived at the checkout, and was greeted by a fabulous woman.

She would be in her fifties or sixties. She smiled like she meant it. Her larger-than-life persona helped her fingers bounce off the keyboard and serve her customers quickly. She had laugh-lines, glasses, and a huge smile with real teeth. She greeted me, and suddenly I was brought out of ‘madly-rushing-mummy-world’, and back into the real one. She complimented me on my son, and asked how I was. She genuinely wanted to know. We had a chat, and to be honest with you, I can’t even remember what it is exactly we talked about. But I do remember this: her sincerity made my day. Her kind words gave me something to remember. And you know, it wasn’t just the words, but the meaning behind it that was so powerful.

It got me thinking about the people I find the most encouraging. Often they are the ones that are free; to be kind without abandon or fear. They are the ones that are willing to put you above their own needs. And then I thought about the times I had been the most encouraged: beautiful words from my mother-in-law, heartfelt and tearful ‘thank-yous’ and ‘goodbyes’ from my old Iranian boss, honesty from a dear friend – they have been precious, precious times indeed. I still remember them, even years after the fact. They have given me something positive to hold onto, even when things seem out of whack.

And so, lets try to make our words encouraging and kind. Let our eyes say what our lips might not express enough……you never know, you might just make someone’s day (and it doesn’t cost a cent!).

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