Do you ever wonder if people notice when you do something nice?
It is easy to get discouraged when we try to help others, but never know if we made any difference. I have learned to never discount the incredible power of simple kindness. I can tell you something about the power of kindness and you will see what I mean.
Some 20 years ago, I was in the grips of a dark depressive episode. I was very physically low, had lost a lot of weight in a short time, was unable to work and had not kept up my physical appearance.
Ever since growing up across the street from each other, my friend Janie, has been my hair stylist. Knowing of my situation, Janie invited me to her salon for a complimentary haircut and permanent, which I certainly could not afford. She told me it was her gift to me and to come on in.
Janie is the kind of person who takes time with her clients. I had a lot of hair, but she patiently worked on me, washing my hair and calmly listening to me over several hours. She simply wanted to do something to help me feel better. Today, we jokingly call it, “Hair-apy.”
It felt so luxurious, being personally attended to in such a kind way for an entire afternoon. I had been holed up alone in my apartment and the contact with a caring, soothing friend was like finding cold water on a hot day. When she finished, I felt much better because she made my hair look so good!
Last week, I reminded Janie of this experience and of how it made me feel. She had given me an incredible gift of her individual and unhurried time. I left feeling special and cared for. Yet interestingly, when I brought it up, Janie only vaguely remembered it, yet it is something I will never forget.
It is a great example of how we never truly know sometimes how simply being kind to someone may impact them. It may be a routine thing for us to do, yet for the other person, it could have a lasting impact for the good.
A favorite verse in the Bible says, “Let us not grow weary in doing good.” Maybe you are discouraged because you have been kind to people, yet no one seems to notice. Be kind to them anyway.
You may never know it, but they might just remember it forever.