Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Time and Kindness

     This morning was our official "opening day" tournament at the club where I play golf, Riverton Country Club.  The tournament was to start at 8:30 and so I wanted to be there by 7:45 to hit some balls and warm up first.  Unfortunately, after all the flight delays I had last night, I didn't arrive home until around 1:15 a.m., so I was moving pretty slowly this morning.  By the time I left my house it was already pushing 8:00.  I had thought about buying a whole bunch of hot pretzels to give to all the caddies but that would have taken me in the opposite direction and I wasn't sure I could make it in time.
     Fortunately, there's a Dunkin' Donuts on the way to the club, so I stopped in there and bought a ton of those "munchkin" donut holes for them to enjoy.  When I swung into the bag drop area, I gave them to one of the caddies and he put them in the "shack" where they gather before going on the course.  It wasn't a big deal -- just a simple gesture of appreciation for their efforts.
     As I was driving toward the club debating whether or not I had time to get pretzels, donuts, or nothing at all, it occurred to me how much time can factor into our willingness to be kind.  Often, when we're rushing, not only do we not want to take the time to go out of our way to help another person, but we're often annoyed at others because they become obstacles slowing us down from getting where we're trying to go.  If I had seen someone with a flat tire, or someone who needed a ride, or even just directions, I might not have stopped to help because I was behind schedule.  However, if I saw the same need but had plenty of time, I would be much more likely to stop and offer my help.  
     I tend to be pretty careful about punctuality and making sure I'm where I say I'll be when I say I'll be there.  However, I often seem to be pushing the envelope because I end up leaving my house just a shade later than I intend.  This doesn't allow much room for unexpected kindness.  I'll be curious to see how my response to kindness opportunities changes when I do a better job of giving myself more time.

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