Wednesday, April 11, 2012
K is for Kindness
In this post I am using the following definition of kindness: the quality of being warm-hearted, considerate, humane and sympathetic.
I journeyed to the South Carolina low-country in January. I've been here for four months and am leaving for home on Sunday. I be been met with nothing but kindness from every person I've encountered. I don't think people here get angry. Southern hospitality is everything and more than I would have expected.
In the first month I met a few people at a church I chose to attend. Over the time I've spent here these people have become true friends. It hurts to think of leaving them. Not that I don't have friends at home, I have wonderful friends there, too.
In a solitary walk on the beach one day I met this amazing woman. She went through cancer with her husband when they were young. Together they have raised an amazing son. Tanner is a basketball player at Clemson University, but that's not what makes him amazing. While in high school Tanner started Tanner's Totes. He fills large plastic totes with items for pre-teens and teens who will have extended hospital stays. The program has grown and is a non-profit. I was so impressed when I went to the website that I have decided with Tanner's permission to sponsor them. That means I will be giving money to his program with the sales of my books. It won't be massive amounts of money (I'm not making James Patterson bucks), but it will be a way to give to those who are in need.
I've met a group of people who thought nothing of giving two weeks of their lives to travel to Costa Rica on a mission trip. There one of my new friends found an autistic child. She had read that if you touch an autistic child you need to completely hug them. Through an interpreter she was able to get permission to do that. She slowly approached the young boy and the interpreter asked if the woman could hug him. The boy not understanding agreed. When she wrapped him in her arms he immediately wrapped his arms around her. No one had been able to touch him since he was a baby. The tearful parents thanked her in every way they knew how, because once again they would be able to touch their own child. He became very calm after she hugged him, something else his parents were amazed at.
Others have opened their homes and hearts to me and showered me with kindness. I hope when you meet someone new you will do the same.