My paternal grandmother lived with us. She would sit in the porch swing and I would stand behind her and brush her beautiful long gray hair. As I brushed her hair she would tell me her two favorite stories from the Bible. The only thing better was when she would have me snuggle up close to her in the swing as she read to me. As I child, I surmised that they were just good stories but now as a mother and grandmother I realize she had an ulterior motive - she was teaching me a most valuable lesson - a lesson about kindness and thankfulness.
She often added to the story of the Good Samaritan, "You never pass someone in need even if their skin is not the color of yours." And, "You should never pick and choose who you will be kind to, you just be kind," she would enumerate over and over.
This same instruction came with Manners and Etiquette. "Know what to do and do it. If you do the same right thing often enough it will become second nature to you." "That way," she would instruct, "You will always know what to do and feel confident doing it."
Sounded complicated as a child but as I grew older I realized what I did automatically, others my age struggled with.
This tutoring soon gave me the understanding that the Kindness lessons and the Manners lessons were synonymous. They both really were practicing the Golden Rule. Which is simply put, "Treat others, as you want to be treated and never forget any kindness extended to you."
I also learned as a child growing up that my mother always had a slip of paper fastened to the inside of a cabinet door in the kitchen. It was near the sink where mother was more apt to see it. At the top of the page were written the words, "Lest I forget." There was never a kindness extended to her or our family that was not found listed on her paper. In November of each year she would in some way once again let the person or persons involved know how grateful she was for their kindness. Mother often quoted the reminder to us, "Don't remember the kindness you do for another, but never forget kindness done for you."
I am reminded even more of the lessons learned as a child and even some days I find myself missing that spot on grandma's lap and the peace that came with her loving arms around me.
May we each give thanks and remember all kindness given to us.
Submitted by Anonymous