Nov. 13: World Kindness Day

It all turns on affection.
—Wendell Berry

For every kindness I extend,
at least three bounce back
like happy red rubber balls,
and if I think to catch them,
what a delight to bounce them

to someone who wasn’t expecting
the surprise of a compliment—
the amazing speed of the young
woman who skillfully and artfully
assembled my poke bowl—or
the donation to a local thrift store
that helps women escape danger,
or the leaves my neighbor regularly
blows off my driveway—

the smallest everyday kindnesses
performed for no other reason
than because we can,
because affection in its tiniest forms
might return to us not only by those
we love but by strangers, too—

friends waiting to happen,
as a dear friend sings—

because I recently read that kind
people have a 44% less chance
of dying early, and, even if we head
into the great mystery sooner than
we or our beloveds would like,

our kindnesses remain in the hearts
of those we touched—long after
we’re gone, only to be extended,
with luck, by others to others,
a fine legacy, indeed.

About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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2 Responses to Nov. 13: World Kindness Day

  1. Dick Tracy says:

    Kind people seldom get the “press” they deserve.

  2. Dick Tracy says:

    Jan; Way back when I was at The Bee I got a call from Ch. 10 asking if I’d be available for photos in about an hour. Why? I was a winner in their “Who is your favorite newspaper columnist” contest. Second place! First went to Herb Caen and third to a man at the Davis Enterprise. I got wondering why and then realized we all wrote about fun people doing creative things. Kind people, generally. People enjoy those stories!

    Hope you and the almost dead guy are having a good day!

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