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Captivating Kindness

July 18, 2012

Today, I learned something valuable. I saw a story play out right before my eyes.

photo by .guin

A woman arrived. She was kind, interested in others, personable, and gracious. People rushed to her aid, doting over her, talking to her, and laughing with her. They were all basking in her glow, hoping to catch a ray of her overflowing sweetness.

There were other people in the room at this time, but this one woman caught my attention and the attention of everyone else in the room.

We all gravitated toward her like she had a magnetic pull.

It was like getting caught up in the excitement of a storm and then it passes and you feel different. The ground around you is wet from the rain. The leaves on trees nearby are contorted from the gusting of the wind.

This woman was like that. She was like a storm. Except her storm was joy and kindness. It just seemed to ooze out of her and it got all over me. I got coated in it’s wonderful stickiness.

What’s In It For You

The interesting part about the whole story is that because of how she treated everyone, she was treated the same way in return. She gushed kindness, I gushed kindness. She lit up my mind with a smile, and I happily returned it.

She gleamed with excitement about life and I started glowing brighter.

She ushered praise sincerely and took great interest in each word spoken. I mirrored her without even realizing it.

What I realized was the verse, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” was  being played out right before my eyes.

I have always thought of that verse in such a self-sacrificial way. “Oh, I should be kind to others because that’s the right thing to do and I would want them to do that for me.” I would actually baulk against this “should” I was telling myself to do because I didn’t always see what I would get out of it.

The Truth Of The Matter

I mean, face it. We all want something out of everything.

We are all driven by what makes us feel good, comfortable, encouraged, and uplifted. We just are. We want pleasure, we hate pain.

I have been approaching my dealings with people from a backseat stance. I wait and say to myself, “I’ll be nice to them, depending on how nice they are to me.”

What I saw played out today was opposite. I saw a woman who took initiative and openly loved and sincerely doted on all those she ran into. What happened was she was loved and doted in heaps and bounds in return.

I am convinced she got more feelings of support and encouragement and love poured on her in the 15 minutes I saw her than some people get in months, even years.

I am missing out!

We all want it, want love, validation, and encouragement, but we depend on others to give it before we give it back.

I am posing that we change the order of our internal plan because it is leading us down a faulty road. And that road is making us miss out on the opportunity to be loved and encouraged.

This is what I learned today.

– Seek first to listen

– Seek first to hear

– Seek first to encourage

– Seek first to validate

The response you get will fill your heart to overflowing.

I saw it played out today and it was powerful. It struck me. I am changed.

Question: Do you seek first to love and encourage or to have others love and encourage you?

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7 Comments

  • Reply Ann Musico July 18, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Claudia first I have to say simply by the interactions I’ve had with you and Michael in this group – you are both definitely in the same calibre of this wonderful lady.  You are both generous with assistance, feedback, praise and encouragement and it makes me want to give the same to you always!

    In answer to your question – I hope that would be true of me – that I seek to encourage and help others before looking for the same from them.  Every single time I go out of my way to help someone or lift them up – I am sure I have received more joy and blessing than any little thing I might have done.

    • Reply Claudia Good July 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Thank you Ann! You are dear and sweet and if you were here I would hug you!

      Isn’t that so crazy how that works? We get filled to overflowing ourselves when we encourage others! Wow, it is so powerful and life changing.

      I can see that it is true of you! You DO encourage, like a champion 😉

      • Reply Ann Musico July 18, 2012 at 3:56 pm

        Thank you Claudia for saying that and I will collect on that hug one day!!

  • Reply Michael Wright July 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Sounds like the lady was taking a script right from the Dale Carnegie playbook!  It brings up something I’ve always wanted to attain personally and that is simply to love others out of a pure motive.  Just love them with no expectations.  I’ve taken the Dale Carnegie course,  read the Stephen Covey books, etc and all those principles are true and I’ve tried to force myself into them on my own.  I’ve realized that is easier when I am connected with THE source of LOVE, God Almighty – they seem to appear magically.  I think of Jesus saying “Put FIRST the Kingdom of God (Love and lots of it for God and others)…and THEN ALL the other things would be added to you.”

    I have to concur with Ann – you and Michael are the bees’ knees on Captivating Kindness.   To think that you guys are only in your early 30’s and you’re really walking the walk.  Some never find the path.  Keep walkin’.

    • Reply Claudia Good July 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      It does Michael! I didn’t even think of that!
      Oh wow. Thank you so much for your words here! You bless us Michael, thank you!

  • Reply Weekend Wellness: Bacon, Kindness and Giving Up My Birthday | Shalom Mama July 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    […] Captivating Kindness I have a friend who does the exact same thing. […]

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