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Kindness Korner

I Believe in Compliments

We visited the 1st grade classroom of our grandaughter Larkin last week. Her teacher is Mrs. McPherson, an older woman, nearing retirement age. She was impressive with those little kids, most of whom were energetic little boys.

After a few hours observing we departed. I made certain I said to Mrs. McPherson how highly I appreciated her teaching, and mannerisms, with the children. Linda, my wife, did the same.

Mrs. McPherson seemed startled by our appreciative words. What she said implied that there were not many occasions in her life as a teacher that she had been rewarded with compliments and supportive feedback.

As we left Lincoln School we signed out. There we were greeted by the school Administrative Ass't/Receptionist. She smiled and bade us farewell. I told her "You are the most important person in this school. The person who meets and greets those who arrive sets the tone. And you are such a warm and inviting person." Of course she was very moved and denied her importance. Again I had felt compelled to leave a gift with a key person.

Later, along with our adult daughter and granddaughter Meggie, we visited a large Consignment Store. They specialize in taking in and selling used clothing and other items. I asked the woman at the counter if she was the owner. She said she was. Then I inquired about why she had gone into this kind of business. She answered that there was a need for it, and she believed in re-cycling and helping those with limited incomes. At the same time she affirmed that the present economy was actually helping her business (the price of every item is shared with the one who brought it in).

After further conversation I had to leave, but in parting I said to her "I really admire you for what you are doing." She looked surprised, but pleased. I think my words were a spiritual gift that made her life a little bit better.

These three examples represent a life plan: I believe that words of encouragement and appreciation are spiritual gifts. They are not merely nice tokens. They are acts of love. As acts of love they are in fact the touch of God. This is because God is love. Therefore an act of loving-kindness is a taste of God.

My intention is to thoughtfully notice people throughout every day, and offer to as many as possible and reasonable a "touch of love" which is a touch of God. I am confident no sentence will ever be wasted. They will all brighten the spirit of the recipient and in the process make their world, and our world, a better place.

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