As a youth, the word kindness bugged me. It sounded grandmotherly, even a bit unmasculine. I’d rather people think of me as showing toughness or courageousness. And, if someone bestowed kindness on me, I’d think I must be weak or needy.
Last week, while in line at a convenience store, I saw an elderly man fumbling in his wallet for the dollars necessary to pay for a couple items. He came up a few dollars short even after pulling change out of both front pockets. After some embarrassing moments, the man chose a box of Corn Chex to return to the cereal aisle. Just then, a long-haired kid holding two six packs of Bud Lite reached down and scooped a five-dollar bill off the floor. He told the man he saw it fall out of his wallet. The man’s transaction was completed with no further fuss.
I watched this kid return one of his six packs to the beer cooler.
Now, after a lifetime of experience, the quality of kindness tops my list of favorite attributes.