Clear Sunshine, Soul Spot

The Lost Art of Kindness

This was written about two years ago, then tucked away and forgotten about. The message is still relevant and couldn’t be more timely.

I am ticked right now.  Seriously frustrated, upset and disappointed.  My husband and I are in Laguna Beach, California right now.  We just left the San Shi Go restaurant, where we had gone on the recommendation of a friend. 

While there, sitting at the table in front of us was a lady, what appeared to be her brother (could’ve been her son), her toddler and her father.  The toddler was fussy from the moment they walked in.  How many of us have been in this mom’s position? You’ve worked all day. You’re tired. You’re hungry. It’s Friday and you chose to go out, because cooking was the last thing you felt like doing.  It’s possible the baby hadn’t had a nap.  All of us mamas have been there. 

Throughout dinner, the little girl fussed here and there.  Michael and I smiled, reminiscing about those days (thankful that they are past haha), but not minding in the least.  The restaurant was abuzz with chatter and not at all a quiet “fine-dining” experience.  The sweet mom kept apologizing to us and the table next to her, smiling embarrassingly at the baby’s fussing. 

Immediately after they finally got their food, the manager walked up and asked them to quiet the child or leave.  I sat there shocked, watching it all go down.  The granddad took great offense (rightfully so) and immediately told the manager to give them the check, while letting him know that what he was doing was highly illegal.  (Turns out him and his daughter were lawyers lol!) The manager started to back pedal and apologize.  The poor mom sat there looking so embarrassed at the scene that was being created.  I sent her my most encouraging smile, all the while wanting to give her the BIGGEST hug ever. 

Then it hit me, I looked at my husband and said “GO NOW!! Pay for their meal, before they are handed the check!”  I wanted that mother to know that she should never apologize for her baby being exactly that, a baby.  All mothers have been there and we need to encourage others that we see struggling.  We really have no way of knowing what they are dealing with behind closed doors.

My husband walked to the front and asked to pay for their meal.  He was told NO, he couldn’t pay for their meal!!!  My jaw about hit the floor.  Thankfully, this girl didn’t marry a pushover.  My husband insisted, in no uncertain terms, that he be allowed to pay and (those of you who know him, know he can be quite persuasive) they finally relented. 

We would rather have them not known that we had paid, but the manager told them what we had done. The family (and all those around) acted so shocked that we would do such a thing.  The mom started crying.  I told her to never apologize for that baby, we’ve all been in her shoes.  I let her know we have 3 kids of our own and it’s okay.  The family next to their table told us how awesome they thought us paying was, as well.

I honestly was shocked the most at how surprised everyone was that we would do such a thing.  What has happened to our society that we have lost the basic instinct of kindness? It cost us $45 extra tonight to let a bad experience become positive.  If it had cost 3 times that, it would’ve been worth it.  We need to wake up and become the people God has called us to be.  Aren’t we commanded to LOVE one another? We are to be HIS hands and feet.  If we sit by and watch and do nothing, we may as well be the ones committing the act itself. 

We need to stop letting venues like the news and social media divide us. We are ALL human. We all want to feel special. We all have the need to be loved. I may not think or believe like you, but I still believe that you are uniquely and wonderfully made. You deserve kindness. You are awesome!

I challenge you today to find a way to turn a hard situation into a positive one.  Bless someone, knowing you will get nothing in return.  I would have been happy to walk out of that restaurant without those people knowing it was us.  It didn’t work out that way.  I made my Father in heaven proud tonight and that is all I’m concerned with. 

Drop a comment below and tell me how you plan to show kindness to someone!

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