It Only Takes One Thing

December 18, 2010

It only takes one thing.

One moment of courage to turn a regular person into a hero.

One act of kindness to transform a day.

One act of goodwill to change a perception.


The other day I needed to take a package to the post office for Chris. It was raining and cold, and I had Mackenzie with me. The line was forever long and moving so slowly. I had her car seat hooked over one arm and Chris’s package in the other. I was so frustrated at the line, at the rain, at the cold, at needing to be out in it at all.

Then I noticed the man next to me making faces in the direction of Mackenzie’s car seat. I had her facing toward him without realizing it. He was an older gentleman, and he was grinning at her and making faces as if there was no one else in the room but the two of them.

I smiled at him, and he asked how old she was. He told me that he had a new grandson that was just a month older, and we chatted about how well his grandson was doing. And he kept making Mackenzie smile with his silly faces.

Eventually he excused himself to come back when the post office was less busy, but my brief interaction with him changed the rest of my experience while I was there. There were still two people ahead of me in line, and Mackenzie’s car seat didn’t weigh any less than it had before, but I relaxed my shoulders and decided to focus on extending kindness. The trip wasn’t so bad after all.


It’s the Christmas season, which means the next two weeks can go one of two ways – filled with frustration at relatives, rude shoppers, crazy drivers, and never-ending to-do lists, or filled with peace and joy, offering grace to others, and relinquishing our ideas of the perfect holiday season.

Today I am venturing out with Mackenzie to do our grocery shopping and hopefully finish our Christmas shopping, too. I am aware of the craziness of this idea, but I have set it in my heart to extend kindness to others and generosity of spirit. That is what this season is really about after all.

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