The power of kindness: four Christmas (or Hanukkah) miracles

The power of kindness: four Christmas (or Hanukkah) miracles

OK, maybe calling them miracles is a bit of a stretch. Maybe I should have called them simply "good stuff" that happened in the frigid winter season. Still, it feels like a miracle whenever I'm the receiver of an act of kindness so I'm sticking with the miracle thing. Here goes...

I'm not sure why it is, but most of us are wired to remember all of the bad stuff that comes a-knocking. We memorize every slight, every word said to us in anger, every embarrassing moment, every eye roll that rolls in our direction.

I thought now might be a good time to remind ourselves about all the lovely things we experience in our lives. I'm not talking about HUGE events like the birth of a baby or a marriage proposal or a job promotion.

I'm talking about the tiny vignettes in our lives that occur right in front of our faces if we are mindful enough to see them.

I'm talking about the ordinary moments that we ought to collect like Blue Willow china or precious Lladro figurines, moments which should be savored and later filed away in our brains, dusted off and taken out whenever we're feeling anxious, pissed-off, blue or, well, just plain bored.

Here are four of my December "miracles." Maybe they'll help jolt you back--if you should need it, to feeling better during this joyful, stressful, often emotionally messy holiday season.

1. Carlos, who works at Abt, the electronic and appliance store. Carlos is a computer technician there. In the more than 30 years I've shopped at this store, the products, prices and service have been nothing but top-notch.

I bought my Apple computer at Abt, in part, because they offer free technical phone support for the lifetime of your computer. Can you imagine!? Lifetime--as in permanent, just like the new tax cuts for corporations!

Carlos saved my butt twice this month. Both times, he went above and beyond, as patient with me as he was brilliant in his fixes.

2. Lynn at the Secretary of State office in Schaumburg. I won't bore you with all the details at to why I had to go to the there, but let's just say it may have something to do with not realizing my license had expired.

In a sea of government workers who wear their gray, miserable faces like it's a job requirement, I  won the lottery and got Lynn. Lynn smiled when I walked up to the counter! Lynn was polite! Best of all, Lynn took care of my problem without making me feel like the idiot I was.

3. Ray Moore lost in Alabama! True, Doug Jones' win wasn't about me, personally. But if his accomplishment wasn't a Christmas miracle and a victory for kindness, I don't know what is.  

4. The doorman. I was driving south down Lake Shore Drive on my way to work in Hyde Park when I ran over a piece of metal smack dab in the middle of my lane.  I don't know what the metal thing was, but it was so big, it blew out two of my tires.

I walked to the nearest building, where the doorman, who had just finished his shift, turned into my knight in shining armor. He drove his own car to a tire store, purchased two used tires and put them on my car. I paid him for the tires, but he refused to take any additional money from me.

Admittedly, this last miracle happened many Christmas' ago, but I'll never forget the doorman's amazing act of kindness. I have the scenario filed away in my brain and take it out whenever I'm feeling anxious, pissed-off, blue or just plain bored.

Kindness is actually good for you (if you should need a selfish reason to be kind). Wishing you a happy, healthy, peaceful 2018.

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  • 1. Unfortunately, the electronics on a dishwasher I bought at Abt blew up on its fifth anniversary. Next one I purchased at Lowe's. But Abt did have good popcorn that came free with a microwave.
    2. One thing that Jesse White seems to have succeeded at is getting Patty and Selma out of the DMV.

  • I forgot that I once asked someone at Abt if I could get my picture on the wall, or if I wasn't Oprah, and he said "you aren't even Dr. Phil."

  • And they have free chocolate too, Jack!

  • Thank you for a beautiful perspective, Judy. Here's to another year of great writing and reading!

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Thanks so much, Margaret. Wishing you the same!

  • Thanks, Judy, for reminding us that the best moments in life oftentimes come gift-wrapped in the form of good and kind people!

  • In reply to James Warda:

    So true, James! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • QUERIDOS AMIGOS
    Es divertido ver a la gente quejarse de la vida de su relación y de sus problemas de vida, donde la solución no está muy lejos de ellos ... Hay auténticos lanzadores de hechizos del lanzador de hechizos. No todas las situaciones necesitan hechizo para lanzarse y quiero asegurarte de obtener una solución final a ese problema, solo consulte a este hombre poderoso en su correo electrónico ODUDUSPIRITUALSHRINE@gmail.com, y se alegrará de hacerlo y resolverá todos sus problemas y resolverá su problema, y su vida amorosa y su salud volverán y usted son garantía de vivir una vida feliz para siempre.

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