In life, there are times when we manufacture our feelings or our response to others’ comments or opinions. There are times when there’s no need. Those times when our feelings are genuine, our responses heartfelt and true.
Today is one such day.
Two days ago, I received a text from a mumma friend, inviting me to coffee this morning. I happily replied in the affirmative as they are two of my most favourite ways to whittle away time: coffees and chats.
I’m just back now, having spent nearly two hours with this mum and one other. It was a very enjoyable time. I hardly see either of them anymore; one has moved her daughter to another school, the other has a younger child who’s started prep (our school has two campuses—Prep to Year 2s, and Years 3-6—separated by public gardens).
Included in this catch up was a very unexpected gift for me; my friend’s way to express thanks to me for my understanding of a recent situation. The details don’t matter. But her feelings of gratitude towards me and the way I handled this situation were real. My feelings of reciprocated gratitude for the thoughtful gift were also genuine.
I was completely taken off-guard by the gift and its accompanying card. Appreciative of the thought behind it, the time taken to choose it and to write the note inside the card. To me, it was unnecessary. My reaction to the circumstance was normal, what anyone would do.
However, that got me to thinking. Not everyone reacts to something the same way, do they?
It takes all kinds to make the world go round. An idiom that is often used when describing someone who is of a completely different mindset or personality. Or when a person has reacted to something in a way that was surprising or seemingly out of character. The idiom is true, as they mostly are. Equally true, though, is the need to find your people, those who support and back you, understand and respect you, and say thanks, even in those times when you don’t believe thanks was necessary.
Here in the quiet of my home, I am humbled. I am reminded that what we do matters. How we respond to experiences matters. We are not on this earth alone. We are observed, and like it or not, judged by our reactions. I am deeply touched that this time, my actions have been checked and found sufficient and competent.
And it reminds me, yet again, to always choose kindness.