9:05 AM. Late. My shoes were soaking wet from the puddle of rain I had just stepped in, and while trying to get to class on time I had slipped and dropped my Starbucks. It was just not my day. Frantically running up the stairs of Doti Hall, I was unsure if it was rain or sweat that had drenched my freshly ironed shirt, but luckily the cute boy who sat next to me in class was absent that day. As I pulled out my binder, I realized I had left my homework on my printer at home. Of course. Whispering to myself how stupid I was, I noticed a mysterious clothespin on the strap of my backpack. “You are LOVED” was written in fine purple sharpie across both sides.
Tears filled my eyes as I realized how silly it was to stress about things I couldn’t control. I couldn’t control the rain or dropping my Starbucks and forgetting my homework was a mistake I would have to own up to, but that all seemed so much smaller and less important now. Before finding that clothespin, all I could focus on was everything that seemed to be going wrong that day. Afterwards, it was like a light bulb went off inside of me and those thoughts vanished, turning into positive ones about how I could get through the rest of the day (even in my sopping wet shoes).
Houston Kraft, a motivational speaker, recently spoke at my college about love and kindness, immediately reminding me of my clothespin. He shared that while speaking on a high school campus a young girl approached him and asked if he knew her brother. The two had gone to highschool together, which Kraft vaguely remembered. Kraft was a member of his kindness club in high school whose objective was to meet someone each week and leave them better off than they were found. One of these people was her brother. She explained how her brother had felt alone, depressed, and like he was living without a purpose. Her brother remembers Kraft for telling him three simple words when he really needed to hear them: “You are loved.”
This act of kindness, that Kraft faintly remembered, left her brother changed and he still talks about that encounter years later. Kraft didn’t realize how much of an impact that phrase would have on another person. One simple act of kindness, that you might not even remember, may change someone’s life forever. You never know what someone else is going through, and the thing they may need most is the love and kindness of someone else, even a stranger.
One stranger with a clothespin completely changed my day. Whoever put it was probably hoped it would bring a smile to my face or at least bring me a few minutes of joy. I could not have received it on a better day. That clothespin did more for me than they could have ever imagined. I decided to keep it inside the front pocket of my backpack for a rainy day when I saw someone else who needed a pick-me-up. It is so important to spread kindness and love. Without love, we are nothing, and while we may receive love from others, it is imperative that we give that love back to others.
Be intentional and do something kind for someone today, maybe even someone that you don’t know. Remember that it doesn’t have to be extravagant. Check out this list for ideas!
Every day should be World Kindness Day, but November 13th it’s official! Put it on your calendar and celebrate with friends!
*Meet the Author*
Kat Lynch is from Reno, Nevada and is currently a sophomore in the Argyros School of Business at Chapman University. When Kat is not at school, you can find her cheering on the sidelines or cuddling her puppy.