The heat was suffocating. Signs warned hikers to avoid the climb during midday. It was exactly that time when we started. With water in hand, we set off on the trail.
Once we completed the hike, we sat in the shade and drank water. We discussed writing a few #sowkind notes to leave in the bathrooms, at the trailhead, and possibly on a few random cars. As we were scheming, a family gathered a few feet [probably six] from our picnic table. They were putting on hats, applying sunscreen, and discussing water.
I figured it must be their first time to the park because they did not bring any water. Zero. None. Signs warned against hiking without water during midday.
We just so happened to have two unopened bottles sitting on our picnic table.
After they walked away, I asked if anyone would mind sharing the two bottles with the family who was now well on their way to the trailhead. Everyone around the table agreed, so I started off toward the family. I called after them a couple of times before they realized I was talking to them.
I shared that I overheard they didn’t have water, and we had two unopened bottles. Two bottles for four people would not be much, but it was much more than what they had. I held the bottles out toward the family and told them I thought it would be a good idea for them to take water on the hike.
They accepted the bottles, said thank you many times, and set off. I do not know how the day turned out for the family; I never saw them again, but I know they were grateful for the water.
Just as the water hydrated their physical bodies, kindness has a way of saturating the soul. Sometimes kindness is risky. People do not always respond positively to act of kindness, so it can be vulnerable for the giver. However, if your act of kindness makes a difference in the life of one person, all the awkward moments are worth it.
Extend a cup of cold water. Invite the single parent to lunch. Purchase an extra bag of groceries for your aging neighbor. Check on a friend. Call a sibling. Send an encouraging card.
We will not always have the privilege of knowing the outcome. The result is not the point. When we show up and see others, we are participants in a greater story. We become part of the ripple effect of love fleshed out in small acts of kindness.
Avoid overthinking. It will keep you from taking the risk to #sowkind, and someone desperately needs your generosity today.
Answer the call, friend. Offer what you have. It is enough.
Sowing with you,