Small Acts of Kindness

November 5, 2008
Having a caring personality and a loving heart that brings joy to several people just makes me gleam with happiness. When someone comes up to me and tells me that I am a genuine and good hearted person, I feel accomplished, but more importantly, I know that I made a difference in that person’s life, whether it was big or small. The fact that they came up to me to thank me for my time, patience, or whatever else it may have been, is just all the more reason for me to maintain the road I’m on and keep doing compassionate things for others.

This summer, I had the honor of working with several different kinds of children. One week I was an instructor at my church’s vacation bible school. There were about seven children in my group on any given night. Some of these children I had seen around church before, but others were new to church and their parents were using those two hours on week nights as a baby sitting service. With all of the parents intentions aside, I decided that in order for the children to get the most out of this time with me, I had to give everything that I had in my mind and my heart to truly understand them and their personalities. Since these kids were only in first grade, they were very shy to start out with, but that did not last very long. After about a half hour on the first night, we were all dancing, laughing, and singing together. From that point on, they were stuck to my side at all times. Even some of the parents would come up to me and tell me how in the car their children would talk about “Miss Renee” and the silly things she did that night, or how “Miss Renee” taught them something really cool about Jesus. Throughout that week, I learned that when you take the time to be considerate and patient with others, the reward is a thousand times better in the end. Knowing that because of me, some of these children were introduced to God, my life and heart are forever changed.

Coming off a week of vacation bible school, I was on my way to Newark, New York. I had no idea what I was going to be doing, except for the fact that I was going on a mission trip with a group of my closest friends. When I hear the words “mission trip”, I think of building or restoring an elderly widow’s house, or weeding gardens, or any other kind of hard, manual labor. To my surprise, I was going to be washing and waxing buses for the Wayne County ARC, better known as the Association of Retarded Citizens. These buses were how the employees got to work and returned home, since most of them did not have their licenses. Although this is definitely not what I expected to be doing for a week of missionary work, it was still nice to know that someone cared for our time and truly appreciated our efforts. After the week was over, a man came over to show us his gratitude and thanks before we were on our way. To see a grown man covered in tattoos become teary-eyed because of the time my group and I took to wash buses that hadn’t been washed in 10-15 years, was an experience all in itself. This gave me a new outlook on my missionary work. You don’t have to do big and bountiful things to be remembered. As long as you do your work with an open and gracious heart, people respect you and the time you put forward to help them in their time of need.

The emotional experiences I went through this summer have over all made me a better person and have helped me understand life in a way that would have been very difficult to discover otherwise. I have always been told that my personality will take me far in life, and that my caring attitude is one of my blessings, but growing even more upon that this summer is truly a wonderful thing. Having these stories in the back of my thoughts will definitely influence my way of thinking in days to come, and help me mature to the best possible person I can be.

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