Sunday, September 4, 2016
Lifted by an Apple and a Post-it-Note
Kindness is very powerful.
That's what I heard an Apostle of the Lord say recently.
And since he said it in a conference talk I believe that makes it official.
Heavenly Father wants us to know that an act of kindness is an act of power.
I'd never really thought of kindness in that particular way before, being an act of power I mean, so I decided to ponder it.
This pondering brought back a memory of a single act of kindness that has lifted me for over 25 years.
It happened when I was teaching in a small school in our beautiful, beloved mountains.
I remembered that it was late on a Friday afternoon after a particularly trying week.
I vaguely recalled days of mind numbing state testing for my poor students, and grades due and two days of parent-teacher conferences that lasted until 9:30 at night for me. There were endless faculty meetings where a dear colleague looked over at me in exasperation and wryly commented, "You know the scary thing about these things is that everybody in the room has a college degree."
In addition, students, parents and teachers were embroiled in a variety of disagreements for which I had somehow been designated as the referee.
By late Friday afternoon I was questioning my life's choices and generally feeling exhausted, unappreciated, and unloved.
Humming, "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen," I headed across the dark hallway to pick up my mail before finally heading for the weekend and home.
I flipped on the light in the breakroom and looked at the little cubbies usually filled only with additional demands sent by mail.
In each one, on top of the demands, there was a bright red apple and a little Post-it-Note.
I reached in for mine.
The note said, "Teaching is not always easy but it matters forever. Thank you so much for all that you do for kids. It was signed, "A grateful parent".
I'll never forget the almost miraculous change in my outlook after reading those few words.
I still remember the lift it gave my spirit decades later.
An act of kindness. An act of service. Not such a simple one either when you consider that every faculty member was a recipient.
Now, many years later, I'm here to testify that there is indeed great power involved in kindness. I was once lifted by an apple and a post-it-note. Others were too. I'm lifted still when I remember it.
Yes, an Apostle of the Lord spoke about kindness in a conference talk recently.
He did so because Heavenly Father wants us to know that an act of kindness is an act of great power.
Maybe even eternal power.
Think about it.