Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Inspiration from Goodlife Zen Question 8

Ok, I'm admitting something. I'm stumped. I can think of nothing. Zilch. Nada thing.

My mind is a sieve.

Here's where YOU come in.

Are you smarter than the mother of a 5th grader?

Please say yes.

Today's question from Mary Jacksch's post at Goodlife Zen is bringing up a big fat goose egg.

8. What did others do for you?

Is it just me? Or is this almost the exact same question as number 7--What kindness did you experience? As I tried to think of what others did for me this last year, I'm coming up with the same answers as I did for the kindness question.

I have thought about this ALL DAY. I guess I could have just copied and pasted yesterday's answers but I don't have dumb people reading this blog. They would notice.

The only conclusion I can draw is that there is some subtle difference between the two questions. Something I'm not seeing. Something that the extremely intelligent readers of this blog will see and will be happy to point out to me so that I can later honestly answer the question without feeling like the person who drives up the wrong way in the parking lot at Walmart in oblivion. You know--that person who is looking for a clue, but is driving backwards.

This wouldn't have happened when I was 49.


  1. Hi Randi
    This was also being stumped!

    My Mother gave me birth (had nothing to do with kindness).
    You inspire me (even when you are unaware of it and having nothing to do with kindness)
    The example of others in what they said, did, thought and achieved is something that they've done for me in that it lifts, inspires, gives direction and perspective.

    Those who fought for my freedom did so out of duty and responsibility rather than kindness.

    What Christ did for in terms of eternal perspective is of greater significance than singly manifested characteristics.

    These are just a couple off the top of my balding head.

  2. Oh, you crack me up.

    And Ken answered it beautifully. I agree - what others do to you may not be out of kindness, and how you interpret or learn from what they do has nothing to do with their intentions.

    If you had reposted the same answers, I definately would have noticed. I've been enjoying these daily questions so much! Thanks for that.

    In response to the question.. what did others do to you, I'll be brief. Someone I only just met said some pretty nasty things to me. He had no reason to be that nasty and downright rude. He even sort of (but not really) apologized up front saying that he tends to be too blunt. Blunt would be an understatment. In any case, he said some things that were downright wrong, however, he got me thinking about perceptions and how people perceive me. After I got over it (and it took time), I realize I got a gift in hearing it bluntly how others might see me.

  3. Randi--- I think these two questions are cut from the same cloth. I've thought of several small kindnesses I witnessed in the past year. I'll see if my smarter than a 5th Grader brain comes up with any others before posting them.

  4. Okay, here's what I came up with (insomnia last night and my brain is tired).

    At a graveside service for a neighbor, a woman moved up behind me and whispered that my skirt was hiked up in back. Luckily, the skirt was lined and the lining was in place. The woman stayed behind me until I'd fixed the wardrobe malfunction.

    When our car stalled in the left turn lane at a stoplight, people adjusted and moved around us. Several drivers paused to ask if they could help and we told them help was on the way.

    In line at the grocery store, I didn't notice that I had dropped a bill from my wallet. A man brought it to my attention. It was only a dollar, but it could have been a bigger amount.

    On a commuter plane to DC, passengers had to get off the plane on the runway and board a bus to the terminal. The man behind me hoisted my suitcase up the steps and into the bus.

    Jill and kids and Unc and I were coming out of a mall. Grace skipped ahead and held the door open for an elderly man entering. He stopped and smiled and reached in his pocket and pulled out a dollar and gave it to her.

    In Target, a man was pushing two small children in a cart. They were yelling their heads off about something. An elderly man walked up and said, "I lost my kitten. Do you see it anywhere? It's around here somewhere." The kids stopped crying and looked around, and Daddy looked pleased.

  5. Here's my thought....
    a kindness you experienced - it may not have happened directly to you, but may be something you witnessed or that happened to someone you love and it affected you. You "experienced" these nonetheless.

    what did someone do for you - they may not have done something out of kindness (that doesn't mean malice, though) may have been out of obligation, or without even thinking about it. Maybe you asked somone to reach something on a high shelf at the grocery store. No biggie, but they did it and it helped you.

  6. I knew it! I was confident in the intelligence of this blog's readers and I was not disappointed.

    Ken: Excellent point! There are people who do things for us, but not necessarily out of kindness. Even by being an example they can do something for us. Or even if by duty.And of course what Christ did for us. I'm grateful for your balding head. :)

    Daisy: Another excellent idea! Many times people can be downright mean to us and yet we learn a lot from them, even if it's just learning how NOT to be. So what they did for us had nothing to do with kindness, yet they did a lot.

    Auntie M: Your stories of kindness were touching and inspirational.I especially liked the one about little Grace holding open a door for an elderly man. She must have picked that up from seeing her mama do it first. This is why books about Random Acts of Kindness are so popular. People love to read about nice things that other people do.

    Jill: Another good perspective on the question! You can still experience something, without it having been for you or to you. So technically I could have done a whole post on kindnesses that I experienced even though none of them were for me. (Like the old man's interaction with the kids at Target in Auntie M's comment.)

    It looks like you were kind of thinking along the same lines as Ken--lots of people can do things for us, but not always out of kindness.
    I am so happy to have received such good answers to my plea. It just goes to show how important it is to have different opinions and insights. I had a mental block somewhere that wasn't allowing me to think of these things in a new way. Quangsters rock! :)


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