Last week, after a long and challenging day, I headed to a friend’s house for dinner. After we finished eating, I spotted some Peppermint Patties in a bowl and shamelessly asked if I could have one (or two). She is a good enough friend that I knew it wouldn't be weird to do that. As I was getting ready to leave, my friend asked if I’d like a couple for the road. Knowing it was her special bowl, I thanked her and kindly passed. She looked at me and said, “If this will bring you a little bit of joy, I’d love to share them with you.” Who can say no to that?
Please don’t underestimate the power of an act of kindness. Not only does it allow the other person to give from their place of abundance or strength, it also supports our brains and nervous systems to focus on things we are grateful for. By doing so, we are creating new pathways in our brain to cultivate overall wellbeing by “rehearsing” things in our lives that are good and true. I’m going to carry those wrappers around in my purse for a long time to remind me how powerful a gesture like that can be.
This act of kindness got me thinking about how the last standard in the ICF (International Coach Federation) Code of Ethics talks about “doing good” rather than just “avoiding bad.” It invites us as coaches and as human beings to consider the ripple effects of both our actions and our words as we aspire to leave a trail of kindness in our wake.
What is one gesture or act of kindness you can offer someone today?