For several years I lived in Canton as a single parent. My kids lived most days with their Mom in Fallston and we decided to have them go to school at St. John’s in Hydes, MD. So, the drive on Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings from Hydes to Canton gave me plenty of time to catch up with the kids and talk about the things going on at school.
Today, the first day of Lent, reminded me of one of those drives home from Hydes.
It was Ash Wednesday and along the journey I had a one of those conversations with the kids, who if memory serves me correctly, were about 7 and 8 years old. The topic was Lent and what they both decided to give up during the 40 day holy season.
Tori, the youngest of the two stepped up first and enthusiastically informed me that she planned to give up jumping off tall buildings for Lent. Tyler made a similar major sacrifice when he declared that he would refrain from jumping over trees.
I suggested to both that instead of giving something up, perhaps they might consider doing something positive each day of Lent instead. The brilliant idea was quickly dismissed when Tori asked if we could get McDonald’s for dinner.
Fast forward to today, National Random Acts of Kindness Day. Wouldn’t it be great to tie together my idea for the kids, Lent and National Random Acts of Kindness Day and do something nice for people every day, right up through Easter? It doesn’t have to be anything that requires a great deal of thought or something expensive. Maybe it’s as simple as holding open a door for a stranger; carrying a grocery bag for an elderly lady; buying a coffee for the person behind you in line; sending a thoughtful text message to a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while; calling an old friend.
It’s said often that giving is a gift. There’s an intrinsic value in generosity. There’s something to be said for making someone smile.
And in turn, you’ll do the same.
Happy Lent everyone!