Sunday, August 22, 2021

No Act of Kindness is a Wasted Effort

I fly a lot. Even during the heart of the pandemic, I was on the road coaching in numerous school districts as part of long-term projects.  Now things are absolutely crazy but in a good way. Job-embedded and ongoing professional learning is being prioritized in schools, which means my travel is back to pre-pandemic levels.  As much as I love what I do, being away from the comforts of home is stressful.  Any little perk I can get is well received as it makes it a tad bit easier to be away from home.  Herein lies the reason why I am loyal to one airline.

From my lens, loyalty has its benefits.  Thus, I tend to fly United no matter what. The only time a different airline is selected is because I have no other choice if I want to get to that location without having to drive a long distance once I land. On a recent Sunday, I headed from Houston, TX to Omaha, NE to kick off the year for Papillion La Vista Community Schools. Usually, I head out earlier in the day, but on this occasion, I opted to take a late flight out so I could spend time with my family.  Once on the plane, I did what I usually do – sleep. Work also manages to get done at some point, but for some reason, I am out cold taxiing to the runway.

I must have been extremely exhausted as I slept the entire flight.  As the plane landed, I quickly drank some water and gathered my belongings. A flight attendant named David handed me a postcard with a handwritten note and thanked me for my loyalty on the way out.  I can’t begin to express how much this meant to me. The life of a road warrior isn’t for the faint of heart.  It can actually get quite depressing at times as well as tiring.  David’s random act of kindness did not go unnoticed. In fact, it has been on my mind each time I board a United plane.  Below is a picture of the note.

Technology sometimes removes the human element from kind gestures.  The note David wrote would not have had the same impact or value if it had been in the form of an email or text.  Now I am not saying these gestures aren’t effective, but if you can go with a more traditional option the act of kindness can be amplified.  In our busy lives, we often overlook the little things. David took a few minutes out of his day to be kind, and it mattered.

Never miss an opportunity to show gratitude or bestow kindness on another person. Small, selfless acts like these don’t take much effort but can totally change the trajectory of other people and maybe even yours.

Whether you are a teacher or an administrator, the little time it takes to bestow kindness on a student, colleague, or parent could be the best few minutes of their day and possibly yours.  Even though texting and email are the convenient approaches, consider these options:

  • Handwritten note or Post It
  • Card with a personal message
  • Food, especially sweets
  • A small, inexpensive gift that has meaning
  • Phone or video call
  • Drop by a classroom, office, home, or anywhere else physically
  • Cover a class for a teacher or colleague

No act of kindness is a wasted effort. With the pandemic still negatively impacting the lives of so many, going the extra mile to be nice and show gratitude is worth its weight in gold. While the business of life often gets in the way, making consistent efforts to show kindness is what the world can always use a little bit more of, especially right now.

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