This is week 4 of the Kindness Challenge. This week’s challenge–be kind.
This week was a special week for me. On Friday, I went to visit my parents in Michigan. On Saturday, my daughters flew in from New York to join us. My heart is full of love and appreciation after spending time with these beloved people.
I did act kindly this week. I made a point of smiling at people, saying hello to them, listening to them. That’s not really unusual for me, but it still felt good.
But there’s something else that really struck me this week–it was an experience of gratitude. It also inspired me and gave me hope for the future.
My Dad sings in the choir at the senior living community my parents live in. They gave a concert yesterday, but we couldn’t stay to hear it. Instead, we went to the dress rehearsal on Monday. Much of the music was truly beautiful and moving. As I listened to it, sitting between my mom and my daughters, I thought of all the concerts, plays, performances of various kinds that my parents attended for my brothers and me as we were growing up. And there were a lot of them! We all played instruments (plural) and I acted in plays and played in the band for musicals. My brothers did some of that, too. I also thought of all the events I attended for my daughters. What a blessing to have the opportunity to participate in those things. And what a greater blessing to have parents who are there to observe and support. My parents didn’t work in the evenings or on weekends, so they could come to those things. Not everyone is able to do that, of course.
I felt happy and grateful to see my Dad (although he was in the back row and mostly I saw his right ear and shoulder) perform. Grateful that I could see the concert in person. I’ve seen the others on Vimeo. Grateful that my Dad can sing and enjoys singing. Making music with others is a joyful way to experience community.
I saw him perform a few years ago with a harmonica orchestra (or band?) he used to be in, and that was fun, too.
But there was something else, something more. I’m not sure I can adequately express it, but I’ll try. It’s something about the human spirit. Something about the incredible beauty of seeing elders singing together, playing the kazoo together (for one number), waving around a rubber chicken and squawking (only one person did this, for the same song). Creating beauty and joy and silliness together that they shared with others. Some of them couldn’t stand, one man had an oxygen tank, another was, well I don’t know, but she wasn’t all there anymore, but she still sang–finding and giving joy.
I think about the kindness of the choir director who has been volunteering at this community since it opened. She is the music director at a mega-church down the road. She brings a lot of joy, a lot of kindness to a lot of people.
Still, I don’t feel like I described the beauty of the human spirit that I witnessed that afternoon. It brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. It’s not just about kindness, although there’s a lot of that mixed in with all of this.
It made me grateful to be alive and gave me hope for the future, whatever that might be.
That’s what is in my heart this week to share with you.
I wish you a week of kindness, joy and inspiration–until we meet again.
Thanks for stopping by.