I have been stressed lately, like to the near brink of insanity with starting a new job and adjusting to a lot of other changes in my life. None of which are bad, but they are new. I’m not used to this amount of change in life, especially all at once.
This means that I, unfortunately, haven’t been doing the best of job in pushing myself outside of my comfort zone any more than I already am to spread kindness in the lives of others. Sure, I hold the door open for strangers and ask them how their day is going, but nothing too over the top.
The good news is that I come from an amazing family – a family that is known for going over the top for others. My parents always raised me by telling me if there’s something you can do for others, you do it. We have been blessed as a family, so why not spread some of that into as many lives as possible?
Well, today’s story described just the type of people my parents are. There isn’t anything that they wouldn’t do for others, and this story not only inspired me on a daily basis to do good in the world, but I assure you that it will also inspire you.
The Nicest Act of Kindness
Have you ever seen the movie The Blind Side? The one with Sandra Bullock? The movie is about a family in Tennesse who took in a teenage boy off the streets and adopted him into their family. To make the story short, the boy that they adopted is named Michael Oher.
Michael Oher went on to become a first-round draft pick in the NFL. Not only that, but he is also a Super Bowl champion.
The Blind Side was released in my junior year of high school. Little did I know that my life would transition into its own little version of The Blind Side.
Giving Back To Those Who Need It
During this time, my mom worked in the city. Okay, to be clear, she worked in the innercity trying to build community engagement and make the city a better place for everybody.
From building schools, renovating churches, to helping start community gardens where individuals could get fresh and healthy food, my mom was constantly on the go and always looking for ways that she could make an impact.
At one of the schools she was helping renovate, she met a young man who we’ll call “Jeff” for the sake of privacy.
Jeff was originally from Detroit, Michigan, but came to Minneapolis to go back to school and get his GED. He was also one of the hardest working individuals that I have ever seen, but because of his desire to happiness to as many lives as he could, he would often be taken advantage of.
Jeff and my mom grew a relationship over the summer. She didn’t see him as a young man from the city. She saw him as a son. And just like with any of her children, she would do whatever she could to make sure he was taken care of.
Extending A Hand When It’s Needed
My parents took me to Savannah, Georgia during the fall of my senior year. It was during that trip that my mom received a call from Jeff that just didn’t sit right with her. After hanging up the phone, she asked my dad and me how we felt about Jeff coming to live with us. He would make the hour-long commute with my parents every day into the city, but at least he would have a warm place to stay and wouldn’t be taken advantage of by some of his extended family and friends.
I thought the idea was great. I always wanted a brother and now I was finally getting my wish. And one week later, it was official… I had a roommate.
Jeff only lived with us for a year, but that year was probably one of the best years of my life. We did everything together. We would go hang out with my friends on the weekends, would play sports in the backyard, and would go hang out at the lake during the summer.
My friends also took to Jeff as well. They loved the idea of having a little diversity in the little hick town that we lived in. Whenever I was to go anywhere, it wouldn’t just be me, but rather Jeff and me.
Jeff didn’t only change my life or the lives of my family, but we also helped to change his life as well. While we gave him a home, food, and clothes, he gave us so much more: love that we never knew could be received from somebody outside of our family.
It sounds cliche, but the truth is the truth. We learned just as much from him as he had learned from us. We changed his life, and he changed our lives as well. And it all started because my parents had extended the offer to house somebody who was once a stranger.
There are so many ways that we can all help to improve the lives of those around us. No, you don’t need to house an individual that you don’t know all too well or who isn’t apart of your family, but just being there for them and helping them in any way that you see fit can help to create a major difference in their life.
Just remember, the more kindness you spread to the lives of others, the more they turn around and do the same. Do what you can do to make the world a better place to live, and those who you help will generally do the same.
Yesterdays Post: How To Deal With Job Rejection