I woke up at 8:28 a.m. to a text message from a gal I used to work with at Rage Salon in Logan, Utah. I quit working there in August due to the demand of my nanny jobs but she asked at 8:05 a.m. if there was any way I could work her shift today, starting at 9 a.m. She was throwing up and feeling terrible. My quick response was, “Sorry girl! I just woke up! I can cover you!” I jumped out of bed, brushed my teeth & hair, threw on deodorant and a dress, said morning prayers with Aaron, and ran out the door. Never in my entire life have I gotten ready in 10 minutes flat. It was a true miracle! I sent Alex (the girl who is sick) a text letting her know I was on my way to the salon. Shortly after she responded, “Marlee, you are a saint. Honestly I am crying because I am so thankful for you right now. Thank you. Thank you.” Now I’m no saint, she was just fuzzy from her cold medicine. But it did get me thinking: What are acts of kindness we can do for someone else today? It doesn’t have to be something as substantial as covering a 6.5 hour work shift last minute, but so many people are in need of kindness, and quite frankly, we are in need of giving it.
After some brain storming from my own personal experiences, I created a quick list of 8 acts of kindness we could give today.
#1. Pack a lunch for your spouse to take with them to work and/or school.
This is honestly one of my favorite ways to start my day. It’s something very simple but how I can help Aaron during his busy days and be sure he is eating (somewhat) healthy. I gotta quick packing Oreo’s and fruit snacks!
#2. Offer someone your home to come to for the holidays.
There is a member family from my mission that I have a very dear relationship with. Isabella, the daughter, attends Utah State University near where we live and when Aaron and I were arranging plans for Thanksgiving with my family, Isabella came to my mind. I sent her mother a text asking if she had somewhere to go for the holiday, and if not, we’d love her to come with us. She responded to me, “You must have heard my prayers!” Never dismiss a thought, my friends. You could very well be someone’s answer.
#3. Provide free services, if possible.
With Aaron in school full time, I have tried my very best to work hard and provide for us financially. Though we make it a priority to do fun things together, we still live on a budget in order to pay for necessary things. Our car needed some work done, so after paying $100+ of unexpected expenses, we still needed a routine tire rotation. Jiffy Lube charges $19.99 for that, and to be honest, and extra $20 felt like a gut punch. I cried on my way to the auto shop. But then, the thought came that I should keep going straight on Main Street. I drove right through the intersection, passing Jiffy Lube, and I found myself standing in line at Big O Tires. After a few minutes, a gentleman came through the doors asking customers if they needed a flat tire repair or a tire rotation. I raised my hand. “Oh, me. I’d like a tire rotation, please.” “Great!” he responded. “Follow me.” He took me to a desk where he asked me information about my car and told me the service would take up to 45 minutes due to the backlog. That was no problem for me though, since I had my journal in hand (journaling is a good time filler)! Literally ten minutes went by when that same man came out and called my name. He explained to me what services they did on my car and handed me the keys. “What do I owe you Sir?” I asked him. He smiled at me, “It’s free!” I was shocked. Maybe tire rotations are a regular free service for Big O Tires, I don’t know, but saving an extra $20 that day was a huge blessing to me. I nearly wanted to hug that man! “Wow!” I said.
“Thank you so much! You truly made my day. Thank you!” When possible, offer free services every now and then. You will be a blessing to someone’s day.
#4. If (when) you encounter someone kind in customer service like I did, take an extra five minutes to tell their manager.
You will give kindness in return.
#5. Find opportunities to give compliments.
It costs nothing, takes no time, and could help someone feel better about themselves. Don’t just think it, simply say it.
#6. Put your phone away while in the company of others.
I never really thought of this as an “act of kindness” but it truly is. Quality time with an individual is far more worthwhile than tracking scores of major league games, your “likes” on Instagram, text messages, or other time-consuming apps.
#7. ATTENTION ALL SHOPPING CART DITCHERS: Return your shopping carts to its receptacle. Pretty please.
My second year in college, I worked at ShopKo, and there was nothing worse than going outside to the parking lot in the dark before close and spending 30 minutes trying to unjam shopping carts to push them back into the store. I quickly came to appreciate customers that would take an extra 10 seconds to place their cart gently into the receptacle. Therefore, please return your shopping carts. Regardless of how far away you parked, if the weather is bad, or even if you perceive that it’s someone else’s job to collect the carts, help their job be a little less miserable 😉
#8. Give what you have to someone who may (or may not) be in need.
After the Women’s Conference last month, I took the 10-year-old girl I was babysitting to dinner at Zupa’s. #everygirl’sfavorite As we ran into the restaurant seeking warmth from the rain, a man was sitting against the glass window with a scruffy beard and old clothes. He asked me, “Miss, do you have a few dollars for me to get some warm soup?” “Sure,” I said, as I motioned Kennedy into the building while I pulled out my wallet. I gave him a five dollar bill and walked inside. Kennedy looked at me and gently laughed, “He had a subway cup and sandwich, Marlee!” Now that I didn’t notice but whether he really needed the money for food or not, I’m glad I still helped.
No matter your act of kindness today, seek out the opportunity. Every small interaction with someone is an opportunity to have a positive impact on both of your lives… AND they almost always make people smile. Like the sign that was on the side of the road near where I grew up said, “Spread Love. Not Crap.” Even a small gesture of kindness is love, so spread love.😊
That’s all for now. Enjoy this beautiful night snuggled up to someone you adore with a creamy cup of hot cocoa.